Tag Archives: bond

Public Hearing at private law firm for VSU bond to private LLC 2016-10-21

Why is a public hearing for VSU bonds being held at a private law firm? Part 1 Is there no parking at VSU for the public to hear about this $58,805,000 bond issue? There is free parking at the county palace for which we the people footed around $51 million in bonds.

For that matter, why are bonds for a public university being held by a private LLC? Why are they being issued to that private LLC by the shadowy South Regional Joint Development Authority, to which the Lowndes County Commission just appointed Commissioner Clay Griner this May, even though County Manager Joe Pritchard couldn’t tell Griner when that Authority meets?

Can’t the Lowndes County Commission provide this bond Public Hearing with a public place to meet?

In the Valdosta Daily Times yesterday, October 5th 2016, and not online anywhere I can find it, was this Public Notice. Gretchen scanned it, and I OCRed it and formatted the lists to make it more legible. Continue reading

VLCIA high noon last week @ VLCIA 2014-03-13

An Industrial Authority board member resigned to run for an office he qualifed for the previous day, at a meeting that had apparently been rescheduled the day before he qualified. OK, who’s going to replace him, and when and by whom will that be decided? Oh, and that rescheduling means there’s no VLCIA meeting today.

The Industrial Authority rescheduled its March meeting for Thursday last week at noon, and at that meeting, according to the VDT, VLCIA board member Norman Bennett said:

“I am announcing that at the end of the day today, I will resign from the Industrial Authority,”

Puzzled by that, I called the Board of Elections to ask if they had told him there was some conflict of interest. They said no, they had read about it in the newspaper like everybody else.

I asked when he qualified to run for District 5. Answer: March 12th, which was the day before he resigned from VLCIA at its rescheduled board meeting.

When was that meeting rescheduled? Their website gives no clue. But their facebook page notice of the new meeting is dated March 11 at 3:15pm.

What do all those dates mean? Probably nothing, since local appointed and elected boards reschedule on whims around here. But it’s a curious series of coincidences:

More interesting is: when and by whom will a new board member be appointed to the Industrial Authority?

Here’s the agenda. Maybe some year we’ll get to see their minutes. It’s been more than two years since Roy Copeland said he’d try to make that happen. He’s no longer Chairman (although he did get reappointed to the board), and another board member has just resigned. You know, that VDT editorial I’m fond of quoting was actually about the Industrial Authority’s minutes:

When officials act like they have something to hide, they often do….
Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority
Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:00 p.m.
Industrial Authority Conference Room
2110 N. Patterson Street


General Business

  • Call to Order
  • Invocation
  • Welcome Guests


  • Regular Meeting, February 18, 2014


  • Review Compiled Balance Sheet and Income Statements for February 2014

Public Relations & Marketing Update-Meghan Duke

  • Public Relations Opportunities
    • International Trade Representatives
    • County Commission Presentation
  • Marketing Opportunities
    • Marketing Materials
    • ValdostaLowndesProspector Mobile Site
    • South Georgia Classic

Project Report-Allan Ricketts

  • Project Maroon

Existing Industry-Allan Ricketts

  • Existing Industry Visits
  • Existing Industry Expansion Projects
    • Project Wire
    • Project Treadway
    • JHS-14
  • Community Business and Industry Partnership

Executive Director’s Report- Andrea Schruijer

  • Business Development Opportunities
    • Georgia Quail Hunt February 2013
    • March Regional Marketing Trip to Consultants
    • Recruitment activities
    • International Representative Visit South Joint Regional Development Authority
    • Staff Planning Session
    • Board Planning Session
    • Met with Department of Agriculture to discuss regional food processing activity

Attorney Report

Citizens to Be Heard

Adjourn General Meeting Into Executive Session

Adjourn Executive Session into General Meeting

Adjourn General Meeting

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


Revenue Bond for health care projects @ VLCIA 2014-01-28

It’s good they posted the detailed agenda item, but since when do tax-funded authorities hold public hearings in a private attorney’s office?

The Industrial Authority posted a meeting notice for their own special called meeting on their facebook page (a day in advance) and their website (at some unknown time). And the agenda does say what it was for:

For the consideration of the adoption of a bond resolution of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority authorizing and providing for (a) the extension of the maturity date of its Economic Development Revenue Bond (Langdale Hospice House Project), Series 2006, in the original principal amount of $2,800,000, the proceeds of which were used to finance or reimburse, in whole or in part, the cost of the acquisition, construction and equipping of a hospice house and related facilities located in Lowndes County, Georgia, and operated by South Georgia Health Alliance, Inc., a Georgia nonprofit corporation, and (b) the execution of certain documents for such purpose.

That bond was previously discussed at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session of 23 October 2006: Continue reading

GA PSC abdicates cost oversight for new nukes at Plant Vogtle

Finish it and then send we the taxpayers and ratepayers a bill? What kind of deal is that? So Southern Company already dodged a Fitch downgrade by delaying a decision, and now GA PSC wants to put it off for years more. That also delays solar deployment in Georgia, putting us still farther behind.

Ray Henry wrote for AP yesterday, Ga. approves deal on nuclear plant costs,

A debate over the rising cost of building a nuclear power plant in Georgia will be delayed for years under an agreement approved Tuesday by Georgia’s utility regulators.

The elected members of Georgia’s Public Service Commission unanimously approved a deal that will put off a decision on whether Georgia Power can raise its budget for building two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle (VOH’-gohl) until the first of those reactors is finished. An independent state monitor has estimated the first reactor will be finished in January 2018 at the earliest.

Regulators will continue monitoring company spending but will not make a decision on raising the bottom line budget figure.

So GA PSC will keep watching costs run over budget but will do nothing about it.

Oh, wait, it’s actually worse: Continue reading

GA PSC member ties Plant Vogtle nuke cost overruns to Kemper Coal in Mississippi

If Georgia Power stonewalls on cost overruns, will it lose at least one Commissioner this time? Long-time nuclear supporter Tim Echols suggested at the hearings this morning that cost overruns at nuclear Plant Vogtle should be capped like Southern Company was forced to do for Kemper Coal by the Mississippi PSC. Standard & Poor’s already downgraded SO because of Kemper Coal and two analysts have downgraded SO for sticking to coal and nukes instead of doing more solar and wind. If SO’s majority part Georgia Power loses the GA PSC, it could be curtains for Plant Vogtle’s new nukes.

Ray Henry wrote for AP this morning, Southern Co. challenged on nuclear plant costs,

Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power has asked to raise the budget for its share of massive project by $737 million to roughly $6.85 billion.

Public Service Commission Tim Echols asked whether the firm has considered offering a deal like one it reached in Mississippi over a separate plant that also proved expensive to build. The company has absorbed $540 million in losses in Mississippi and could face more.

Remember, Tim Echols has for two years now been Continue reading

Videos: Solar Dublin High School groundbreaking @ DHS Solar 2013-03-11

Breaking ground Groundbreaking for solar power to save Dublin High 40%, thus reducing teacher furloughs, financed by municipal bonds, made possible by cooperation among a wide range of government officials, private companies, and individuals: that was the groundbreaking story in Dublin, Laurens County, yesterday, videod by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE.

Dublin City Schools are willing to try something new, and that’s why they were groundbreaking, said Chuck Ledbetter, Superintendent, yesterday. He recognized members present of the Dublin City Council, the Laurens County Commission, the Dublin-Laurens Development Authority, and state representative Matt Hatchett, and Public Service Commissioner Bubba McDonald. Ledbetter’s theme,

News camera and speaker Everybody worked together to make this happen.

was echoed over and over by many other speakers. What they worked for was economic help for Dublin City Schools through solar power, financed by municipal bonds.

The Mayor of Dublin, Phil Best added to the list Continue reading

Solar Dublin High School groundbreaking tomorrow

Dublin gets the jump on the rest of Georgia again: Dublin High School will get a megawatt of solar electricity through a lease agreement with a private company using local government bonds to get around Georgia’s special financing problem.

Kenny Burgamy reported for for 13wmaz.com Thursday, Solar Plant To Be Located at Dublin High,

Dublin High School of Dublin City Schools will soon implement 1 megawatt of solar energy.

The 4,000 panel solar power plant will be the largest in Central Georgia and is expected to save the school 40 percent in energy costs.

Dublin City Schools Superintendent Chuck Ledbetter told 13WMAZ, “The facility will be built and owned by private business and the school system will lease the solar power plant, saving us money in energy costs.”

The original plan was developed more than 15-months ago by German based MAGE SOLAR, which has a plant located in Laurens County.

The story has been carried by GPB by Athens Banner-Herald via AP.

This installation is similar to but slightly different from Continue reading

An Industrial Authority agenda with content! Including VSEB and land acreage!

Yesterday Andrea Schruijer promised to get an agenda for tomorrow’s 2PM Thursday 23 February 2012 Industrial Authority board meeting (101 N. Ashley Street) online. It’s there, and it has content! What it does not have is any mention of anything about Project Excel, or CCA, or the private prison, even though Ms. Schruijer told me yesterday to expect the board to say something about that. You can still express your opinion to them before then. And since this agenda says **TENTATIVE** maybe that item will get added before tomorrow afternoon.

Also missing is any item for the Strategic Planning RFP, even though that RFP says the board will review any responses received by their February board meeting.

What this agenda does have is numerous specific items under the usual broad headers such as Existing Industry/Project Report. So instead of listening to Col. Ricketts and trying to figure out what he’s talking about, you can see such things as “e-Snychronist® Existing Industry Retention and Expansion business information system (BIS)” in writing. You still don’t see names of the “five (5) Prospects” or the “three (3) companies that are developing expansion plans”. Maybe I buy the competitive information argument for the prospects, but I’m not so sure about the three expanding companies, especially if they’re already local. And considering the things VLCIA has tried to sneak in under cover of not mentioning competitive information, such as biomass and a private prison, I’m not sure I buy that argument at all.

Also on the plus side, the agenda includes an actual schedule for bids Continue reading

SGMC Hospital Bonds go for sale this week

The bonds the Lowndes County Commission is guaranteeing for South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC) are up for public auction this week.

According to the NYTimes yesterday, Treasury Auctions Set for This Week

The following tax-exempt fixed-income issues are scheduled for pricing this week:


Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County, Ga., $148.5 million of revenue anticipation certificates. Morgan Keegan


Double Lowndes County Commission tonight: Work 4:30 PM Regular 5:30 PM

Alcohol, rezoning, hospital, debt, and an election! Because Tuesday is Election Day, the Lowndes County Commission changed its regular meeting to Monday. Work sessions are usually Monday in the morning; today the Work Session is at 4:30 PM, just before the Regular Session at 5:30 PM. It’s a busy agenda, including two alcohol licenses, two rezonings, and an appointment to the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County (VLCHA); that’s the body that authorized South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC) buying Smith Northview Hospital, after which SGMC got the County Commission to have we the taxpayers guarantee $100 million in bonds for expansion. Hm, and “SGMC Revenue Certificates” is on this agenda, too.

Here’s the agenda:

327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor
Continue reading