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Cherokee Approves Letter of Interest For Failed Recycling Plant

Peach State Organics is proposing an agreement in which it would pay $30,000 per month to lease Ball Ground Recycling, and would purchase the plant for $7 million within three years.

Credit: Patch file
Credit: Patch file
The Cherokee County government is actively entertaining another letter of interest with a company to possibly lease the failed Ball Ground Recycling facility.

The Board of Commissioners last week approved the letter from Peach State Organics, which is a subsidiary of Green USA Recycling

The letter was approved first at a called meeting on June 17 by the Resource Recovery Development Authority, and later approved by the county commission during its regular meeting on the same day. 

The letter stipulates a lease-purchase agreement where the company would pay Cherokee $30,000 a month to lease the plant. 

A total of $7 million will be paid to purchase the facility within three years, according to the letter. The first year of payments will be made up front, and County Manager Jerry Cooper told the Cherokee Tribune that payment is slated to come on Oct. 1 — the first day of the county's fiscal year.

Those $30,000 in monthly payments would also be applied towards the $7 million. 

Don Willis currently serves as president and CEO of Peach State Organics. He also owns Second Cycle Recycling. 

The commission in 2006 created the RRDA and backed up to $18 million in bonds, which were used to relocate Ball Ground Recycling to land along Highway 5 just south of Ball Ground.

The agreement stipulated Ball Ground Recycling operator Jimmy Bobo was to make payments of the bond into an escrow account, but the county learned in late 2011 Bobo hadn't been making the payments.

That forced the county to pick up the tab, and it has been forking over $100,000 each month in payments. Cherokee County has been actively recruiting and talking with possible companies to take over operations. 

Ball Ground Recycling in late May filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and the company was subsequently forced to remove itself from the property.

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