Videos: Georgia Power, Rotary, Tires @ VLCIA 2014-08-19

They (maybe) finally settled on their new name: Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority; see Minutes. Interesting discussion about Express Scripts, and some details about presenters at the next day’s Community Economic Development meeting. I talked about the Alapaha River Water Trail.

And they are talking about spec[ulative] building, such as they liked when they saw it in Douglas and Valdosta Mayor Gayle liked in Vidalia.

Here’s the agenda, with a few notes, and links to the videos.

300x225 VLCIA, in VLCIA, by John S. Quarterman, 19 August 2014 Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 5:30 p.m.
Development Authority Conference Room
103 Roosevelt Drive
Monthly Meeting Agenda

General Business






Video. They had moved some funds from marketing to project development.

Marketing and Community Relations Update-Meghan Duke

Project Report-Allan Ricketts

Project Report


  • Project Color

    New project. Food production, based in U.S. midwest; wants to expand into U.S. southeast. Could be $20 million capital investment and 30-40 new jobs with pay 10% above the regional average.

  • Project Maroon

Existing Industry-Allan Ricketts

  • Existing Industry Visits
  • Existing Industry Expansion Projects
    • Express Scripts

      In second cohort of training, May through December, about 175 new customer service reps hired and trained expected in that process.

      After Col. Ricketts finished, Tom Call wanted to know, given there had been little capital investment since the reps are based out of their own homes, how many jobs had they created?

      Answer from Col. Ricketts: 135 jobs, mostly work-at-home customer reps., trained, provided equipment, start at $10/hour, with full benefits. Additional 175 in training, with still more being talked about.

      Exec. Dir. Andrea Schruijer added that it was nonetheless a competitive bid that they wond for that project.

      Ricketts concurred.

    • Project Treadway (Fussell Tire & Service)

      Site development for that in Westside Business Park, 8 acres.

    • Project Loaf

      Logistics distribution project, last 6-7 months, Guptona nd Ricketts talked to them that morning. Except construction in about 3 weeks.

    • Project Cold

      Food production and processing. Local industry that wants to expand.

    • Project White Cadillac

      Another food and distribution project. Final determination for type of building expected soon. Concrete block, steel wall, other?

    • Project Patient

      Customer patient service center expansion. Want to relocate around 24 August 2014. Announcement expected around then. They’re already training folks. Needed parking facilities. VLCIA asked VSU; VSU provided 15 parking spaces for training.

  • Community Business and Industry Partnership

    Industrial park acreage remains unchanged. Updates expected with new projects.

Building Committee Update

Final nits like fixing broken light fixtures on new office building.

Later Chairman Mary Gooding commended the staff for an apparently smooth, on-budget, on-time office move.

VLCIA Officer Nominating Committee Update

Nominating Committee

Video. Addressed out of agenda order.

Executive Director’s Report- Andrea Schruijer

Executive Directors Report 300x225 By the numbers, in VLCIA, by John S. Quarterman, 19 August 2014

Video. She showed a slide saying 75 existing industyr visits, 9 expansion opportunities identified or in progress, 12 Georgia RFI submissions, and 560 new jobs, plus $2.5 million solar capital investment with 25 temporary construction or engineering jobs.

  • 300x225 Capital Operating Budget (2015), in VLCIA, by John S. Quarterman, 19 August 2014 Proposed Budget Review

    Budget Committee was Tom Call and Jerry Jennett. Slide and her presentation said they were on-time with payments and under budget, even though there was an increase in some industrial park operational expenses, apparently in utility bills.

  • Community Meeting Regarding Econmic Development-August 20, 2014 Community Meeting Regarding Econmic Development-August 20, 2014

    Video. Georgia Power people coming down from Atlanta for this: Jonathan Sangster, General Manager – Economic Development, Jennifer Zeller, Director of Research. Also Kate McEnroe of Kate McEnroe Consulting about how the local community looks from the outside and how to improve appearance.

  • Request for Support Letter from Brooks County Development Authority for Elec-Tech
  • Private/Public Partnership Regarding Speculative Building Speculative Building

    Video. Increase in number of projects asking for smaller building, especially food processing companies, which is a target market. Renovation of existing buildings costs too much. So research on speculative buildings. GA Dept. of Econ. Dev. did survey on size, type, looks of spec. buildings. Could be community owned, or public-private partnership, where developer builds it. Have large buildings, 250-380 (units?), but need smaller ones.

    Douglas-Coffee County has successful spec building program. Have to hold onto them for long time, but does work. Typically three walls and a roof; no floors. Funded directly by development authority.

    300x225 VLCIA, camera, audience, in VLCIA, by John S. Quarterman, 19 August 2014 Cherokee, (GA?) and Gainesville, FL did public-private partnership spec. buildings.

    Tom Call said with recession vacant lots sell better with houses on them. Ditto for commercial lots and buildings. Also if building doesn’t suit, can sit on it for 5-10 years.

    Andrea Schruijer said typically potential industry says what they want, but you start with 3 walls, roof, water, sewer, etc. Food projects require special floors, which usually aren’t in existing buildings.

    Jerry Jennett mentioned a previous episode where they tried a public-private partnership with a local developer and it didn’t work. Nobody else seemed to have been with the organization long enough to remember that.

    Attorney Report

    Attorney Report

    Video. One prospect and general correspondence.

Citizens to Be Heard

Adjourn General Meeting Into Executive Session


Video. They didn’t actually have an executive session, so they adjourned.

Adjourn Executive Session into General Meeting

Adjourn General Meeting

Mission of the Valdosta Lowndes Development Authority
“Create an environment to attract new industry and promote the growth of existing industry to drive job creation and capital investment.”

Here’s a video playlist:

Videos: Georgia Power, Rotary, Tires
Regular Meeting, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA),
Tom Call, Roy Copeland, Mary Gooding, Chairman, Jerry Jennett, Terri Lupo, 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 John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 19 August 2014.