The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority and its counterpart in Athens-Clarke County last week decided to take an option on 204 acres of land in what is called the Orkin tract in the hopes that the land will be used either by Caterpillar or some of its suppliers.
The optioned land is in addition to the 263 acres the two counties purchased from the Orkin tractearlier this year and that is being used by Caterpillar for the plant under construction on the eastern edge of Bogart.
The option agreement means that Caterpillar, rather than the Orkins, will begin paying the property taxes on the land, and that the two counties got a set price for the property, should they want to make purchases in the next three years.
According to the option agreement, the two counties will pay $35,000 per acre for any land purchased on or before Dec. 31, 2013. This is the same price the counties paid for the 263 acres they bought for Caterpillar earlier.
Oconee County Attorney Daniel Haygood emphasized that the development authorities and the counties were not committing to spend any additional money as a result of the option agreement.
For details on the agreement and other recent action by the county to facilitate the Caterpillar project, go to Oconee County Observations.