By LYDIA BERGLAR
The Jan. 9 meeting of the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) was Will Garrett’s first meeting with the authority. Garrett (owner of the Trenton Guthrie’s) was appointed by the Dade County commission.
Evan Stone (executive director) reflected on the current board, saying, “I think we’ve got a very good board that’s very knowledgeable. We all love Dade County. We all welcome you, Will. You’ll be a great asset.”
The authority discussed easements with Georgia Power. According to Stone, “There are two that we can accept or reject. They’d pay a total of about $6,000. The other three are basically phantom owned by this board through the pilot agreements. Georgia Power has to deal with us because they look at us as the owners, rather than [the companies] who are the owners through the pilot agreement.”
Lisa Cagle brought up the question of expansion in the future. If the easements are accepted, 20 feet from the power lines (on each side) would be inaccessible. Seth Houts said he would vote no for that reason, and Cagle added that she did not sign one on her own property for the same reasons.
The authority voted not to accept the two easements.
Regarding easements that are “phantom owned,” they agreed that the decision is up to the businesses. The authority would then sign off on those decisions with Georgia Power.
At the previous IDA meeting, a land sale to Beltline Energy for $120,000 was discussed. (See Nov. 30 edition of the Sentinel for further details about the company and the sale.) At this month’s meeting, Stone reported, “As of now, the Beltline Energy sale has dissipated. They fell through and did not execute by the 15th of December. Ironically, we recently received a letter from another company that showed the same interest in that property.”
The IDA is planning a joint tour of the industrial park on Feb. 7 with Dade County, the Dade County Board of Education, and the City of Trenton. Stone said, “We export [parts/products] to China out of the industrial park every day.”
George Williams brought up training for IDA members, noting that he was supposed to go through training last year, but he and Cagle have not been through it due to scheduling issues. Garrett will also need to go through training. Dr. James Cantrell (chair) said the training involves an online class about economic development.
The authority entered executive session to discuss Project Highland and a new project called Project Hardwood. Stone said, “Both concern real estate and the expansion of what we do.”
The authority did not vote after executive session.