Tag Archives: industrial authority

Development authority issues in Erie County, NY

In case you thought local elected and appointed governments in Lowndes County, Georgia were alone in not always being coordinated or strategic, here’s another example.

Not only does Erie County, New York have an industrial authority (ECIDA, the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, aka The Economic Development Corporation for Erie County) but many of the towns also do and there isn’t always coordination. Even in densely developed Erie County, there is a clash between rural and urban development.

Sandra Tan wrote for the Buffalo News 22 April 2012, Bad breaks given by IDAs? As a state lawmaker drafts a bill that would handicap town IDAs, those groups defend the deals they make,

“And there is no way rural communities such as Concord and the Village of Springville would ever get taken seriously by the ECIDA, said Concord Supervisor Gary Eppolito, who heads the least active town IDA in the county.

He recalled an instance where a local business asked the ECIDA for help expanding its agricultural business and was shown properties in the City of Lackawanna.”


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.


CCA offers to buy prisons from 48 states

Desperation or disaster capitalism by CCA? Trying to get as entrenched as possible before more people catch on that private prisons don’t save money for states?

Andrew Jones wrote for Raw Story yesterday, Private prison company offers to buy 48 states’ prisons

In exchange for keeping at least a 90 percent occupancy rate, the private prison company Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has sent a letter to 48 states offering to manage their prisons for the low price of $250 million per year, according to a letter obtained by the Huffington Post.

The company says it’s a way for states to help manage their current budget crisis. “We believe this comes at a timely and helpful juncture and hope you will share our belief in the benefits of the purchase-and-manage model,” CCA chief corrections officer Harley Lappin said in the letter.

What does CCA want in return?
…a 20-year management contract, plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full….
So if a state, such as Georgia, was thinking of sentencing reform, or of getting on with decriminalizing drugs, either would become quite difficult after signing such contracts.

Here’s CCA’s offer letter, complete with a blank to fill in for the state.

Maybe CCA is realizing that it’s coming to the end of its rope on its old tricks, such as these, pointed out by Chris Kirkham in HufffintongPost yesterday, Continue reading

How can we pursue happiness when we don’t even have a job? —Tony Daniels @ LCC 7 November 2011

George Rhynes’ video of the last two citizens speaking at the 7 November 2011 County Commission meeting has interesting closeups on the county staff while the Chairman was answering Matt Portwood. Then at 1:35 Tony Daniels answered the request for “any other business” by walking up to the podium and talking.

He cited life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness from the Declaration of Independence:

How can we pursue happiness when we don’t even have a job? I believe the city and county and Industrial Authority and the Chamber of Commerce need to work more together to create an atmosphere of trying to bring more industry inside the city. We have highways coming through Valdosta. I hope to see in the near future that the county and the city and the Industrial Authority and the Chamber of Commerce work like brothers and sisters. Because you know and I know that you are elected by the people of the people and for the people, and I’d like to see that…. Because we need more entrepeneurs, we need to see all governments in this area promote that….
I suspect the Chairman was asking the Commissioners whether they had any other business, but he wasn’t clear about that. I think what Tony Daniels had to say was important, and citizens should be able to say they have other business. However, since he had not signed up to speak before the meeting started, he was in violation of Rule #1 from the Commission’s hastilly adopted Policies and Procedures for Citizens Wishing to Be Heard:: Continue reading

Public Transportation recommended by Industrial Authority’s Community Assessment

Perusing the Community Assessment for Lowndes County sponsored by Georgia Power and prepared by Janus Economics for the Industrial Authority, I noticed on page 28 under Recommendations:
There is a plan for a public transportation system in Valdosta-Lowndes County but it currently lacks funding for implementation. Under current budget constraints it will be difficult to implement such a project, but businesses in the industrial parks and outlying areas may want to implement a limited transportation system if they discover that employee attendance is an issue.
Also on page 9 of the corresponding presentation slides under Product Recommendations: Continue reading

Industrial Authority Board meets Tuesday 5:30 PM

Sure, most of the interesting stuff like Project Excel (the CCA private prison) is hidden under
  • Project Report-Allan Ricketts
Also, aren’t they supposed to say what an executive session is for?

But at least they do post an agenda now!

So, when will they be posting minutes?

Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 5:30 p.m.
Industrial Authority Conference Room
2110 N. Patterson Street
Continue reading

Make the Industrial Authority be accounted —Tony Daniels at MLK Occupy Valdosta

Tony Daniels called for accountability at the MLK monument:
Stand up! Make the Bank of America be accounted. Make the Industrial Authority be accounted. Make the United States government be accounted.

Here’s the video:

Make the Industrial Authority be accounted —Tony Daniels at MLK Occupy Valdosta
We are the 99%,
Marching to Occupy Valdosta, Occupy Valdosta,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 14 October 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.


Do we want a Gladiator School prison in Lowndes County?

Remember FBI investigating CCA “Gladiator School”, the CCA-run private prison in Idaho the FBI was investigating last year? Well, it hasn’t improved much. Cutting corners for private profit endangers prisoner safety and public safety. Is that what we want in Lowndes County, Georgia?

The same reporter, Rebecca Boone, wrote again for AP Sunday, almost a year later, CCA-run prison remains Idaho’s most violent lockup

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — In the last four years, Idaho’s largest privately run prison has faced federal lawsuits, widespread public scrutiny, increased state oversight, changes in upper management and even an ongoing FBI investigation.

Yet the Corrections Corp. of America-run Idaho Correctional Center remains the most violent lockup in Idaho.

Records obtained by The Associated Press show that while the assault rate improved somewhat in the four-year period examined, ICC inmates are still more than twice as likely to be assaulted as those at other Idaho prisons.

Between September 2007 and September 2008, both ICC and the state-run Idaho State Correctional Institution were medium-security prisons with roughly 1,500 inmates each. But during that 12-month span, ICC had 132 inmate-on-inmate assaults, compared to just 42 at ISCI. In 2008, ICC had more assaults than all other Idaho prisons combined.

By 2010, both prisons had grown with 2,080 inmates at ICC and 1,688 inmates at ISCI. Records collected by the AP showed that there were 118 inmate-on-inmate assaults at ICC compared to 38 at ISCI. And again last year, ICC had more assaults than all the other prisons combined.

What improvement there has been is because multiple inmates filed lawsuits.

Even so, Idaho renewed and even increased its contract with CCA. With one small improvement: Continue reading

Do you miss him yet? Brad Lofton in SC

He may be gone, but he’s still up to his old tricks, and he’s using us for a reference.

Adva Saldinger wrote in The Sun News 8 May 2011, Lofton hits ground running in new post; CEO asking taxpayers for $1.6 million:

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