Jeff Golden has been working to bring new business to Warren County for as long as he can remember.
He helped bring a new hospital to McMinnville and worked to land Bridgestone too.
Next month will be the last for Golden on the Industrial Development Board, a board he’s been a member of since its inception. Due to recently passed county stipulations that prevent IDB members from serving more than two consecutive terms, Golden must leave the IDB when his term expires in October.
“When this board first started, it was for hospitals only,” said Golden. “It was originally set up by the state to only deal with hospitals. It was later expanded to include retail and manufacturing.”
Golden said he was on the first board with people like Harry Camp and John Cox that approved the bond for a hospital to be built on Sparta Street. It was located across from the current Saint Thomas River Park Hospital where a Hampton Inn is now in the process of being constructed.
“That hospital has been built and torn down,” said Golden.
One of the board’s biggest industrial achievements was bringing Bridgestone to Warren County. Golden said Charles “Shot” Nunley was on the IDB at the time and he played perhaps the biggest role in Bridgestone’s decision to locate here.
“There was a great deal of local involvement and the officers from Bridgestone were very cooperative,” said Golden. “The way I remember it, Bridgestone was going to locate in Manchester, but the landowner went up in price at the last minute. We found out about it and made them an offer. It went quickly after that.”
One of the IDB’s biggest moves in recent years is spending $981,000 to purchase 218 acres of land right at the Coffee County line. That happened earlier this year.
The property has been named Elam Industrial Site and the long-term goal is to bring a major industrial employer there. The site is raw at this point and it’s expected to take years of prep work before access roads and utilities are available.
“The thing I like about that site is the state has voiced a need for that type of property for several years,” said Golden. “We will be one of the few in the state that has something like that available. It’s as close to the interstate as we can get and still be in Warren County.”
Golden’s seat on the IDB will be one of two that come open in October. The other seat is occupied by Jenny Nafrada, who was appointed earlier this year to fill the unexpired term of Gary Judkins, who resigned.
For anyone interested in serving on the Industrial Development Board, the county is currently accepting applications at the County Executive’s office on Locust Street.
When Nafrada was appointed, the entire Warren County Commission considered all of the applicants and made their selection. Applications will be accepted until Monday, Sept. 30.