MACON, Ga. — Editor's note: Video is from coverage of Mayor Lester Miller's withdrawal from the Brightmark project.
Brightmark says it plans to continue lobbying county leaders despite Mayor Lester Miller withdrawing support for the company to build the “world’s largest recycling and renewal facility” in Macon-Bibb County.
In a statement to 13WMAZ on Friday, Brightmark CEO Bob Powell says he’s confident the project will happen.
“We're eager to demonstrate the overwhelmingly-positive effects of plastics renewal technology, along with the immediate- and long-term economic growth that this project will drive, for Macon-Bibb County,” Powell wrote.
Mayor Miller officially withdrew his support for Brightmark to move to Macon on Monday. He also encouraged the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority to do the same.
Friday, we reached out to Macon-Bibb Industrial Authority executive director Stephen Adams for comment. He did not respond.
Last spring, Brightmark proposed building the world's largest plastics recycling plant in Macon. The company said they hoped to build a 5 million-square-foot plant that would cost an estimated $680 million.
In a letter addressed to Robby Fountain, chairman of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, Miller wrote, “We cannot ignore the long-term safety concerns of this unproven process that have been raised in the last several weeks.”
Over the last month, the Industrial Authority has discussed signing off on $500 million in revenue bonds for Brightmark to start the project in 2023.
Friday evening, MBCIA released this statement:
"We respect the concerns expressed by Mayor Miller. MBCIA leadership will take these concerns under advisement as MBCIA complies with procedural requirements of agreements in place with Brightmark, the State, and other stakeholders in the project."
Brightmark’s Full Statement:
"Given Brightmark’s commitment to the environment and economy of Macon-Bibb County, we look forward to continuing our engagement with Georgia officials and the Macon-Bibb community. We're eager to demonstrate the overwhelmingly positive effects of plastics renewal technology, along with the immediate- and long-term economic growth that this project will drive, for Macon-Bibb County. We are confident that this project will continue to move forward, comply with all environmental permitting requirements and demonstrate its positive impact on the environment in this community."