BY KRISTI REED
Auburn Mayor Linda Blechinger is excited about the prospect of bringing new industry to the town. Blechinger has been working with city and county officials to attract a state-of-the-art tire recycling facility to the area.
“Auburn is really and truly on the threshold of just growing by leaps and bounds,”” she said.
The construction of the facility would include a $50 million capital investment and the creation of up to 100 jobs.
Blechinger said the company is currently conducting soil testing and analysis at the site of the old wood yard on Scott Industrial Boulevard. If the results are acceptable, the deal should be completed within the next few weeks. Officials are withholding the name of the company until the deal is finalized.
The recycling facility would be the first of its kind in the United States, according to Blechinger. Old tires would arrive by rail where they would immediately be loaded into the building and shredded. The shredding process is a completely closed system. There is no dust or debris, which means no air, ground or water contamination.
“It’s extremely environmentally friendly,”” Blechinger said. “”We have a great need in the United States to do something really good with our tires and not store them. This is a really great process. They will actually shred the tires down to a very fine powder, like the powder used in toner, and from there it can be used for a variety of end products.”
Blechinger said the shredded tires can be used to make everything from car dashboards to asphalt for paving roads.
"It’s just a great industry," she said. “”We’re very excited to have this type of industry come in. I expect that there will be many more of this type tire recycling facilities opening up because it’s so successful. It’s very clean and we certainly have a surplus of old tires laying around out there that are really hazardous.”
As part of the effort to attract the recycling company and other new businesses, city and county officials are working together to improve a 1,300-ft.’ stretch of Scott Industrial Boulevard.
“We’re improving the entire industrial development,” Blechinger said. “”The road right now is a private road. It’s very small, very narrow road. It’s not properly graded. It doesn’t have curb and gutter, so we’re improving the entire road.”
The roadway will be re-graded with new storm water drainage and curb and gutter at each driveway. Turn lanes will also be added at the entrance to the business park.
“It will be a huge improvement,”” said Blechinger.
Once the deal is finalized, the recycling company would join three other businesses currently located in the Scott Industrial Boulevard area.
“There will definitely be room for more to come in,” Blechinger said.
The recycling plant is just the latest of many new businesses to choose Auburn. Blechinger said the city has a new McDonalds, the new Gwinnett Clinic, a new fitness center, and a Dakota Steak grill opening soon. Additionally, the city recently opened a new library, completed Phase 1 of Shackleford Park and expects to open a new children’s park in two weeks.
“We have been very busy and we expect that this is really just the beginning,”” she said.