The Liberty County Development Authority’s Board of Directors met Monday morning to adopt the fiscal-year 2015 budget and hold a ceremonial note burning in recognition of paying off a 25-year loan.
FY 2015 budget
The LCDA’s approved budget totals $6.6 million and includes a transfer of $409,652 from the operating budget to the water/sewer budget for various maintenance and repair costs throughout the authority’s facilities.
The budget also includes provisions for the master site plan of Tradeports East and West, as well as the permit application fees that will effectively extend the authority’s jurisdictional determination by 10 years, once approved.
Ceremonial note burning
The board of directors held a ceremonial note-burning of a paid-off 25-year, $385,186.56 loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority.
The loan, procured in 1989, was needed to establish the water infrastructure in Midway Industrial Park. According to LCDA CEO Ron Tolley, the infrastructure facilitated by the loan was critical to the marketability and overall success of the park.
Because the authority was not then in a position to apply for the loan, Tolley said that an agreement was reached between the LCDA and the Liberty County Board of Commissioners. In a show of bureaucratic cooperation, the entities signed an agreement that the county would apply for the loan and the authority would pay it back.
Tolley recounted that though there was some initial criticism of the idea of establishing a park on the east end of the county, “they went ahead, and time proved them to be correct.”
Tolley also said that more than 500 jobs have been established within the Midway Industrial Park, which “would not have been possible without having that infrastructure.”
In other business, the LCDA:
• Heard a request from Riceboro Mayor Bill Austin for the amount of $500,000 toward debt service. The request is connected to a proposed project to tear down two old power plants and build new ones — a project Austin said already has been approved by the USDA. The request will be sent to the LCDA’s finance committee for review.
• Appointed board member Jim Thomas, Hinesville mayor, to represent the LCDA at the Environmental Protection Division’s Floridan Aquifer Leadership Group.
• Recommended Kirk Thomas of SNF for appointment to the World Trade Center Savannah Board of Directors.
MidCoast Regional Airport Joint-Management Board meeting
The Local Joint-Management Board of the MidCoast Regional Airport met prior to the LCDA’s board meeting to officially adopt their fiscal year 2015 budget. The operating budget of $441,661 was unanimously approved.
The Georgia Department of Transportation has tentatively allocated $900,000 in federal funding and $4,325,000 in state funding for the 1,500-foot runway-extension project. The funds, which would require a match of $1,475,000 from Liberty County, must be formally requested by the county commissioner.
The funding assistance — and subsequent funding match — will be reviewed at Tuesday’s commission meeting.