Tag Archives: incentives

Industrial Authority still pushing “benefits” of scrapped private prison

The Industrial Authority appears to have learned nothing from the reams of information about the CCA private prison found for them by members of the public. They’re still pushing the “benefits” while saying nothing about the numerous cons (pun intended), the biggest of which is that the state and federal prison population is already decreasing, meaning we don’t need any more prisons, and if we built one here, it would be likely to close. So it’s not just a bad idea, it’s bad business. But here they go again….

Eames Yates wrote for WCTV Friday, Plans For New Prison Scrapped,

Schruijer went on to say “It would have been a huge economic impact. There were about 400 jobs associated with the project with approximately $150 million dollars in capital investment.”

Those four hundred jobs that the prison would have created, on average, would have payed between $40,000 and $50,000 dollars eah.

To people who mostly don’t live here now and mostly wouldn’t want to live here then, while driving away better businesses; she didn’t mention any of that, or the other problems with the whole private prison bad business.

That picture of Ms. Schruijer is hosted on the LAKE website, by the way. The VLCIA website is still broken, a week after I first pointed it out. Is this how the Industrial Authority plans to do PR, still promoting yet another failed Brad Lofton boondoggle while not making anything positive available on their own website?


CCA private prison project shelved —VDT

According to this morning’s paper VDT, the contract between private prison company CCA and the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority has expired. The land owner could sell the land to CCA anyway, but that would be without a state or federal customer for the prison and without $5 or $6 million in economic incentives VLCIA was going to arrange, including without water and sewer.

According to the letter Brad Lofton signed and VLCIA sent to CCA 12 November 2009, the total of incentives was more like $9 million dollars of tax abatements for CCA or tax-funded work, all of which the rest of us taxpayers would have to pay for one way or another. All that plus the prison itself would have been paid for with our tax dollars. Tax dollars that now can go to rehabilitation or education instead.

So the people of the community win! Congratulations to Drive Away CCA and all others who helped oppose this private prison project, and congratulations to the Industrial Authority for finally saying what is going on.

Perhaps now the Industrial Authority can get on with bringing in industry that will actually contribute to the community. How about industry that people would be proud to move next to? Industry that would employ local people? Industry that would attract knowledge-based workers and businesses? Maybe that’s what VLCIA’s Strategic Plan Process is about. If so, let’s all help the Industrial Authority achieve it.


Georgia officials are getting it about solar

Chuck Eaton, Georgia Public Service Commissioner, moderating a panel of Georgia’s Policy Makers at Southern Solar Summit said
Solar is great for diversity, independence, research, and business.
He said that until recently he had discounted solar, but now he had seen it. Continue reading

If it works in Germany, it works everywhere —Nuri Demirdoven of McKinsey

Germany is a world leader in solar and other renewable energy because it decided to do it and provided incentives. Nuri Demirdoven of McKinsey & Company said at the Southern Solar Summit that in the U.S. southeast there is not currently enough demand to see solar become widespread before 2020: unless incentives are provided. Distributed solar is in a better position due to no need for distribution, he added.

About incentives, he asked:

“Why not Georgia?”
He recommends taking advantages of our strengths in this region. We may not have a lot of demand yet, but we have two solar manufacturers in Georgia, and increasing interest in incentives by the state.
Overall solar works, and is an economic development engine. But the question is what are the commitments you are willing to make, in understanding your strengths, and picking one or two goals.
He cited TVA as an example of an organization that has done that and is moving ahead.

He recommended making a business case for solar in Georgia. Many of the other speakers are busily doing various pieces of that.


Georgia solar incentives

Tim Carroll asked in a comment on Valdosta budget hearing: no citizens spoke
Do you know of any grant funds we could look at for solar panel conversion on some buildings?
DSIRE has most of what I know about GA solar incentives.

There’s also the Georgia Solar Energy Association They have a page on incentives.

You may also notice Hannah Solar among GSEA’s sponsors. Hannah Solar knows quite a bit about incentives; their CEO Pete Marte was at the governor’s signing of the recent expansion of state incentives. More about HB 346.

It might be worth talking to Georgia Power. Their new CEO claims to be “bullish on solar”, they just connected Wiregrass Solar’s plant in Valdosta, and they’re doing various “experiments” and “demonstrations”. Maybe they need to do a demonstration above Valdosta City Hall’s parking lot….