Broadband on the table @ VLCIA 2013-02-19

Internet speed and access (appearing as Broadband) played a starring role at the 19 February 2013 meeting of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA), with a surprise cameo by Lowndes County Commission Chairman Bill Slaughter (appearing as himself) and a bravura performance by Angela Crance of Wiregrass Tech, with a strong supporting role by VLCIA Chairman Roy Copeland, and Mary Gooding standing in for VSU. Internet access (as "telecommunications infrastructure") came up in Project Manager Allan Ricketts' report as a requirement for a Fortune 500 customer service operation and for a National health care service provider, both considering locating here, also as bandwidth, as a requirement for jobs. That was the main theme of Executive Director Andrea Schruijer's report, especially in rural parts of our county, especially for a home-based call center. Even Rotary Clubs need broadband.

VLCIA is also helping find potential sites for several utility-scale photovoltaic solar installations.

The Industrial Authority Board was down to three members, barely a quorum: Mary Gooding, Chairman Roy Copeland, and Tom Call. Whereabouts of Norman Bennett and Jerry Jennett were undetermined. I can't complain; I was in bed with a sinus infection.

Here's the agenda (such as it is), with links to the videos and some notes, often in separate posts.

Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 5:30 p.m.
Industrial Authority Conference Room
2110 N. Patterson Street

General Business

Before the meeting, Gretchen and Bill discussed videoing at Rotary.


  • Regular Meeting, January 15, 2013


  • Review Compiled Balance Sheet and Income Statements for January 2013

Public Relations & Marketing Update-Meghan Duke

Ad for Georgia Trend March issue, partnering with Valdosta, on quality of life. They're going to the Bird Supper with Georgia Power. Also adapting their website for mobile use. Andrea Schruijer added that they were drilling down to find specific industries to target.

Existing Industry/Project Report-Allan Ricketts

Business/Industrial Park Update- Allan Ricketts

Miller and Westside Business Parks have new logo on their signs and silk fencing from renovations has been removed.

Executive Director's Report- Andrea Schruijer

She had one theme: Internet broadband speed and access; see separate post.

Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter remarked that broadband is: "one of the number one issues"; see separate post.

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Special Assistant to the President Angela Crance said broadband is a top priority for Wiregrass; see separate post.

Mary Gooding spoke up for VSU, saying "this is a huge strategic initiative for our community"; see separate post.

Unfortunately, Andrea Schruijer then made clear that much of what had been said wasn't heard; see separate post.

Attorney Report

Lease assignment from American Drill Bit to NJT, and purchase of 4.84 acres in Perimeter East Industrial Park. Board unanimously approved. He also talked about ad valorem taxes and bills.

Citizens to Be Heard

Gretchen Quarterman said "I'm super-excited about the whole broadband thing", warned them about HB 282 which would prohibit municipal Internet, and announced the South Georgia Growing Local Conference will be in Lowndes County next January; see separate post.

Adjourn General Meeting

Mission of the Valdosta Lowndes County Industrial Authority is to
lead economic development in our community by supporting existing industries
recruiting industries through capitalizing on opportunities for collaboration.

Here's a video playlist of just the broadband Internet parts of the meeting:

And here's a video playlist of the entire meeting:

Broadband on the table
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, Tom Davis, CPA, Allan Ricketts, Project Manager,S. Meghan Duke, Public Relations & Marketing Manager, Lu Williams, Operations Manager,
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 19 February 2013.