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LCDA OKs TPE water repairs, proposed lease
Lease will put unnamed company in Hinesville Technology Park
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The Liberty County Development Authority board approved an estimated $19,949 in water system repairs at Tradeport East Business Center and a proposed lease in the former Bioagra building during its Monday meeting.

Upon recommendation from its water/sewer task force, the board approved replacing a malfunctioning water pump control with an $8,749 Siemens System control panel at the Tradeport East water treatment facility.

According to communications between Thomas & Hutton project engineer Trent Thompson and the LCDA, replacing the faulty control with the Siemens panel will align the parts under a single brand and unify technical-support efforts.

Also approved in the vote was the purchase of two 10-horsepower jockey pumps for the system at $11,200. These smaller pumps will move 300 gallons per minute and reduce usage times of the 75-horsepower service pumps currently on-site, which ultimately will lead to reduced power consumption and savings on the property’s power bills.

The board also authorized Chairman Allen Brown to sign a proposed lease agreement with an unnamed company to take over the space formerly occupied by Bioagra in the Hinesville Technology Park once the agreement details are finalized.

As proposed, the three-year lease will begin in March 2012 at the rate of $10,742 per month, and the lessee will pay a $750 fee for the months of November through February to offset the expense of holding the facility off the market, LCDA CEO Ron Tolley said.

Before approving the tentative lease, the group also approved a request made by Toys for Tots coordinator Jennifer Darsey to allow temporary usage of the former Bioagra facility for toy storage, packing and distribution a few weeks before Christmas. Board secretary Brian Smith asked whether entering the lease would inhibit the ability to grant usage to Toys for Tots.

“I think we need to make sure that they (the lessee) need to understand that we want to honor this obligation that we made first,” Smith said.

Brown and Rep. Al Williams agreed that the board should add a stipulation to the proposed lease to allow Toys for Tots to use the facility.

In other news, Professional Land and Timber Services forester David Johns presented the board with a forestry-management plan for its Tradeport East and West business parks.

In August, the board approved a $6,328 bid from the company to evaluate the value of the lumber on its sites, and the plan lists short- and long-term options for managing the 2,005 acres of timber.

Johns said there are many mature trees that should be harvested to make way for new growth. He explained the importance of having prescription burns down the road after the trees have been cut.

Options for the board include harvesting everything available up front, which could gross up to $1.3 million, or following a thinning prescription plan with smaller harvests every few years.

The authority’s goal is to clear $900,000 in revenue from the timber, finance director Carmen Cole said.

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