By REBECCA HAZEN
The Dade County Industrial Development Authority discussed the 2022 budget, in addition to different projects, repairs, and possible prospective businesses during the Monday, June 21 meeting.
The IDA went over differences between the 2021 and 2022 budget. The proposed income is up from $28,000 to $48,000, which is mostly due to PILOTs (payment in lieu of taxes).
Rent went up by $1,500. Professional service expenses are proposed to be up, which includes PILOT negotiations.
Administration expenses are up because of anticipated travel to where the Project Flavor company is located in the Midwest.
There is also a $600 increase for meeting rental fees, to meet in the library, and a decrease in computer and website expenses.
“We have some state requirements that the budget be balanced,” IDA Executive Director William Back said. “There are some places where we can chip away if we have to.”
The IDA members voted to pass the proposed budget.
Also during the meeting, Back informed the authority members that the three-way intersection of Vanguard Drive, North Industrial and South Industrial has some water flowing over the road.
“There needs to be a drainage culvert. The city has sent an inspector out to put a new culvert or some other type of drainage device under Vanguard Drive,” Back said.
That water would drain onto land that is owned by the IDA, a roughly four acre corner lot north of Integer property. It is leased to Integer.
“There is a pipe that runs alongside Trenton Pressing on the way to the creek. This would be the second means of discharging water to the four acre parcel,” Back said. “We should have a discussion with the tenant … and see if they want to develop some water control measures.”
The authority also approved an incentive package for Project Flavor, which includes a PILOT.
“The remaining parts of the IDA’s incentive package are free land (19.5 acres, of which about 14 are usable for construction), and coordination with the company about the establishment of industrial park covenants applicable to their 19.5 acres,” Back explained.
Back added, “This is preliminary. They could come back and want more.”
The Project Flavor company would invest about $68 million in Trenton, and create 95 jobs over a three year period. The salary range would start at $19.
Board Chair Peter Cervelli also spoke about the clawback provisions in a signed agreement with Vanguard National Trailer Corp, in which Vanguard agreed to meet investment and personnel commitments. A clawback is a contractual provision where money already paid to an employee must be returned to an employer or benefactor
“The period to judge whether they owe any money to both the state and us ended at the end of last year,” Cervelli said.
Their investment goal was met, but the personnel goal, how many people they would hire, was not met. It was noted that all businesses are having trouble hiring people at the moment.
“I am willing to give them a 12 month extension on what they might owe us,” Cervelli said.
The IDA agreed to give them an extension through June 2022.
The authority also discussed to what extent they would assist the city in paving Vanguard Drive.
“I’m hoping a project will come through and operate machinery on Vanguard. It’s in somewhat disrepair. At the same time we might have two construction projects that may occur along the unpaved portion. Might want to wait a little bit until we do a final paving,” Back said.
“Let’s not pave anything that’s going to get torn up,” Cervelli agreed.
Back also noted that Beltline Solar is proceeding with an appraisal of land, east of Vanguard Drive, which is 19 and a half acres.
Back thinks the appraisal will come in significantly lower than the dollar amount they are asking for the property.
The authority approved a bid from surveyor Daniel Collier, not to exceed $3,500, to survey land under Vanguard Drive, about eight to nine acres.
According to Back, the air conditioning system at CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates is not working. Only one out of the three compressors is working. There are currently temporary rented air conditioners in place.
The authority debated buying just the compressors, or replacing the whole system, which was purchased in 1995. The difference would be about $5,000 to repair, or $18,000 to replace the whole system. The authority could not vote on the matter at the meeting because the bid amounts were not in yet.
George Williams, chair of Alliance for Dade, attended the authority meeting. Williams reported that he presented at the recent county budget hearing, to ask for funding to hire an executive director.
“It’s time that we address hiring a full-time person,” Williams said. ‘We can do a lot more as an Alliance.”
Back noted that, in the future, he would love to see the larger businesses help fund a local career center, and hire someone through the Alliance for Dade to work at the center.
The next IDA meeting will be held on July 19.