According to the
Intergovernmental Contract between VLCIA and Lowndes County:
WHEREAS, the Authority and the County propose to enter into this Contract,
pursuant to which the Authority will agree, among other things, to issue
the Bonds, and the County will agree, among other things, to pay to the
Authority amounts sufficient to pay the debt service on the Bonds.
So it seems the Lowndes County Commission committed the county,
that is, we the taxpayers, to pay the debt service on
$15,000,000 in bonds issued by VLCIA.
Still, what did VLCIA want $15 million in bonds for when
it already gets $3 million a year in its own tax millage?
WHEREAS, the Authority proposes to acquire and develop one or more parcels
of land located in the County for potential economic development purposes
The new Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp. president and
chief executive is by many accounts aggressive and personable, and he
says, ready to take charge and bring much needed jobs to the area quickly.
Brad Lofton said he will bring 500 jobs in the first 18 months, and an
average of 500 jobs each year over the next five to 10 years.
And a pony!
Has anybody verified the jobs Lofton claimed he brought to Lowndes County?
Continue reading →
On Friday, April 29, 2011 I met with Mr. Yost to discuss the biomass
issue in person. Mr. Yost stated that he is FOR the biomass project and
FOR selling (grey) water to the plant.
When asked for his reasons, he said it “would be good for the citizens
of the county”. When pressed to clarify, he said that the jobs and
the energy would be good for the citizens. He had no clear rationale
for how these 25 jobs would positively effect his constituents, nor how
diversifying GA Powers energy sources would help his constituents.
The other reason given for supporting the biomass project
I don’t like to publish hearsay, but since the Industrial Authority
won’t talk, that’s what I’ve got.
According to Leigh Touchton, Ashley Paulk told her Tuesday night:
He said that Jerry Jennett took the biomass vote off the agenda at last
Industrial Authority meeting (April 19) even though Mary Gooding and
Roy Copeland wanted the vote to be taken ( a vote that was to oppose an
extension of the biomass contract since the biomass incinerator had not
met timeline benchmarks like having a buyer, etc). He said that Allan
Ricketts, Industrial Authority attorney Steve Gupton, and Jerry Jennett
went up to Atlanta to meet with Wiregrass officials and that’s when he
(Chairman Paulk) got a call telling him all this and he said he wouldn’t
keep quiet about it. He said the three men asked Wiregrass LLC officials
to rescind their letter asking VLCIA for an extension on their contract
and to substitute a new letter saying they were withdrawing their request
for extension (or not going forward to ask for extension).
This is in addition to what you can see him
on video saying during the meeting.
More after this picture of the cast of characters:
Continue reading →
The reporter who conducted the interview with Industrial Authority Project
Manager Allen Ricketts has been subsequently repeatedly contacted by
Ricketts for what he deems “false reporting.” According to Ricketts,
the timeline was never official and was only something the Industrial
Authority threw together to appease the Times when given an official Open
Records Request. Ricketts is apparently unaware that legally he cannot
produce a document that does not exist to comply with said request. If
he knowingly did so, as he now claims, that is a clear violation of the
Open Records Act.
Presumably that would be the “Project Critical Path time-line is attached”
that wasn’t actually attached to
documents returned for an open records request of 17 February 2011.
Hm, since VLCIA did supply such a document to the VDT,
presumably it is now a VLCIA document subject to open records request,
even though it was not what VLCIA told VDT it was.
What’s this about yet another sales tax decided on by
regional transportation boards and GDOT?
Corey Hull of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Metropolitan Planning Organization
at the regular monthly meeting,
Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA).
Georgia HB 277, which was passed by the legislature and signed into law
calls for a 1% regional sales tax (T-SPLOST) to fund
In two months, less than 60 days away, Wiregrass Power LLC is supposed to
break ground on the biomass facility in Lowndes County. By now, they are
supposed to have contracts with power companies to sell the electricity
to and with suppliers to purchase the wood waste. They have neither,
nor does the company have an agreement with the city of Valdosta to
purchase the wastewater from the sewage treatment plant.
And yet the folks at the Industrial Authority appear to be rather
nonchalant about the fact that this company has yet again broken its
agreement. They have the power to renogiate the terms of the agreement and
they also have the power to cancel it, but neither is happening. Instead,
they are giving the company all the leeway they need to continue dragging
this project along that the community doesn’t want.
Valid points and a great question to ponder. You may recall my quote
from Benjamin Franklin: “Waste not, want not”.
Add to that a quote from the Sierra Club: “Energy use should be
minimized through conservation and efficiency. In the near future,
efficiency is the only “energy source” which does not incur some
environmental damage and which is available immediately in generous
supply. Sophisticated building construction, efficient appliances,
recycling, modernized industrial
processes, programmable thermostats, public transit supplemented by
fuel-efficient cars, and many other innovative technologies can reduce
energy use tremendously, while saving money.”
In other words, we are wasting enormous amounts of energy and money
After he gave his
wished him happiness in Myrtle Beach
and thought maybe he’d make a graceful exit.
Nope, he’s still cranking the Edison phonograph on the same old
scratched wax cylinder.
Here he is last week responding to James Wright
and dozens of other people in the same thread
to which I later posted
It’s an opportunity.
In Lofton’s case, he’s still fixated on the losing proposition of biomass fuels.
Thanks so much for sharing this and for your continued strong support of our
client’s green renewable energy project. In addition to assisting the
country in reducing our consumption of middle eastern fuel and improving the
environment, this project will provide a much needed economic impact for
landowners of every race, and the Industrial Authority will assist in the
efforts underway to assist local farmers. Google “benefits of biomass