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Development authority OKs budgets
LCDA office
The Liberty County Development Authority office is on Highway 84 in Hinesville. - photo by LCDA photo

The Liberty County Development Authority balanced and approved all of its budgets last week. The budget is for fiscal-year 2016, which runs from July 1 through June 30.

Here is a breakdown:

The General Fund Operations Budget is $8,388,489 and it consists of revenue from property taxes, timber sales and other fees. The LCDA receives 2 mills from property taxes collected by Liberty County each year.

The budget for Tradeport East came out to $128,394. Tradeport East is an industrial park in Midway that is home to businesses such as the Target distribution center and Tire Rack. The revenue comes from the industries’ share of budgeted expenses on the property, very much like a homeowners association.

“There’s common area in Tradeport East and each tenant is responsible based on their acreage percentage out of the overall developable acres in the park,” Carmen Cole said, who is the director of administration and finance at the LCDA.

“What happens is we set a budget, then we spend whatever we have to spend during the year. And then we’ll send out a notice to all the tenants that says this is what we spent, (and) this is what your portion of that cost (is),” she said.

The operations budget for Water and Sewer with LCDA properties is $543,912. Those operations serve properties such as Tradeport East and Midway Park as well as any other properties connected to the LCDA’s water and sewer system.
The LCDA uses its general fund to help keep it balanced, but hopes to one day have the fund be self-sustaining, according to Cole.

The MidCoast Regional Airport operation’s budget is $506,716. The authority also is budgeting to lose $82,385, and that cost would be split among Liberty County, the city of Hinesville and LCDA at $27,462 each. These three entities oversee the airport’s operations.

One of the airport’s largest budget expenses for the 2016 fiscal year will be an upgrade to security, estimated to be about $20,000. The airport’s revenue includes rental spaces in the hangars, fuel purchases and building leases. Nearly all of the airport’s available space has been rented, even after rental fees were increased last year.

“We’ve done a really job of trying to hold our expenses and finding ways to increase revenues (at the airport) and that, yes, it is getting much better,” Cole said.

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