Economic development wins for Oconee

A maker of engine cooling systems for trucks has chosen Oconee County for its fourth location. The announcement was made this morning at a meeting of the board of the county Economic Alliance. Janet Hartman, the interim director of the alliance, said a second reading of an ordinance facilitating the Midwest company’s expansion into Oconee County is before county council under the code name “Project Plan 4.” An official announcement is expected soon. Zach Hinton, board chairman, gives Hartman credit for the manufacturing acquisition, saying it was a project that came to Oconee County just at the time Richard Blackwell was leaving the executive director’s position. “I was fortunate enough to see firsthand how her (Hartman) and her team really took that project from inception and worked it up. And it looks like we’re going to have an announcement real soon,” Hinton told the board meeting. Hartman also announced that the completion of “Project Echo” which was a 17,500 square foot expansion by Baxter, Oconee’s first BMW supplier. The expansion made for a $5.7 million capital investment and 22 new jobs at Baxter’s location in the Information and Technology Park on highway 11.