November 16, 2013 10:22:32 PM
Nathan Gregory - [email protected]
The Lowndes County Board of Supervisors approved a $5,504,391 land purchase using funds already borrowed from the Rural Development Authority in 2011 for three tracts of property at the GTR Global Industrial Aerospace Park on Friday.
County administrator Ralph Billingsley said the county initially borrowed $13 million from the RDA to finance land purchases and infrastructural development west of Golden Triangle Regional Airport. Golden Triangle Development Link vice president for economic development Brenda Lathan said the purchases, which combined gain about 700 acres for the county, completes purchasing of nearly all 2,500 acres available at the site. The Link, which has an option on the tracts, will transfer it to the county upon the RDA providing money to the county. The county will then transfer oversight of the land to the Lowndes County Industrial Development Authority, she said.
Billingsley said the county drew approximately $6.5 million upon first agreeing with RDA on the general obligation bond. The RDA has held on to the other half since then, with the exception of a $300,000 land purchase earlier this year, so the county didn't have to pay interest on it.
"The way this thing was structured, you borrowed it all on the front end, but by letting them keep it, we don't pay interest on it until we draw it. It stayed with (RDA)," Billingsley said. "It's going to be a lot that of acreage that we can put some industry on out there. We've got the water. We've already got the sewer. We've got the power. We've got everything sitting out there ready to go, and now we've got the land."
In other business, the board:
■ Approved to advertise a notice clarifying that rubbish pickup is for rubbish only and not for large objects including uprooted tree stumps and tires. Road manager Ronnie Burns said people remodeling homes have placed those objects on lots for pickup and the trucks are only designed to carry rubbish. Supervisor Leroy Brooks suggested the board draft a policy regarding the matter;
■ Eliminated assigned parking spaces for county employees with the exception of judges;
■ Approved a $4,000 bid from Harris Construction to demolish the old Crawford community center building once asbestos is removed. Supervisors approved an amount for asbestos removal not to exceed $37,000 in its previous meeting.
■ Approved a $3,637 invoice from JBHM Architects for architectural services on the CalStar facility. That money comes from a CAP loan supervisors approved earlier this year;
■ Promoted part-time road crew employee Hermas Granderson to full time effective Nov. 18 for $13 an hour.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.