The first 100% VSEB contract, local industry expansion, new prospects, a bank lost a bond, and new Georgia sunshine laws require attention. Here are videos of the entire 22 May 2012 meeting of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA) board. Here’s the agenda.
Guests included a camera crew from VSU, one of whom was Cameron Copeland, Chairman Roy Copeland’s son.
CPA Tom Davis said the county told him revenues were flat, so VLCIA would get about the same amount as last year. Tom Call asked if revenues would catch up over 6 months or 8 months. Call said they would eventually.
Tom Call reported for the budget committee and said expenses were projected to be down for the coming year, plus the budget would be more specific about where revenues were being spent.
Meghan Duke reported they had gotten an article in the newspaper, and they had held an OSHA training meeting at Wiregrass Tech. They plan to hold further courses and will send out a survey about that. She also expected updates to the land-searching Valdosta Prospector website to be ready in a few weeks. She and Andrea Schruijer had selected 3 finalists out of 10 proposals to redo the VLCIA website. Her only stated criterion for picking one was
“I just have to go with my gut.”
Website completion had been scheduled for September, but had been deferred. Roy Copeland wanted to know when. Meghan Duke said as soon as they had selected a developer, they could start on it. Andrea Schruijer said Meghan Duke had completed all her courses and graduated from the Georgia Academy of Economic Development.
Roy Copeland said Steeda was very appreciative. He could have just stopped there, but he added:
I get for one week a 700 horsepower Mustang to ride around in.
I wasn’t the only one wondering afterwards: what was he thinking? The VLCIA board and staff, however, found it hilarious, and nobody questioned the propriety of a board member accepting gifts from a company that benefits from VLCIA. He added that the gift included a life insurance policy.
Allan Ricketts refered to growth in existing industries as “our home team” and said three of them were mulling expansion. He also said they had met with several potential new industries.
Col. Ricketts said two VLCIA board members (Jerry Jennett and Mary Goodman) had gone the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) meeting (Georgia Chapter).
See other post about the first 100% VSEB contract, for landscaping Westside Business Park.
Jerry Jennett said he was very impressed with the scale of work and capabilities of Hunt Industries. He also said he liked the idea of making wood pellets to be sent overseas to be burned in wood furnaces in Sweden and Texas. Naturally Col. Ricketts liked that to. Ah, the biomass idea will never die….
The customer bank First Union, now merged with Wells Fargo, managed to lose some 1996 VLCIA revenue bonds and asked for a reissue. The amount has also been reduced from $5 million to $2,350,000 (I’m guessing because the rest of it has already been paid off.) The board agreed to the request.
VLCIA attorney J. Stephen Gupton also explained the recent changes to Georgia’s open meetings and open records laws; see separate post.
Jerry Jennett accidentally talked himself into being on a nominating committee with Tom Call to nominate new officers for the coming year.
Two citizens were heard. John S. Quarterman, who was embarrassed at saying nothing but compliments, and then recommended fast Internet access to attract knowledge-based jobs and workers. Jody Hall introduced himself as running for County Commission District 5, and said he was in favor of growing our local community properly.
Here’s a video playlist:
Regular Meeting, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA),
Norman Bennett, Tom Call, Roy Copeland chairman, Mary Gooding, Jerry Jennett,
Andrea Schruijer Executive Director, J. Stephen Gupton attorney, Allan Ricketts Project Manager,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 22 May 2012.
Video by John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).