Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development (CBCDOED) Executive Director Melinda Lemmon has a problem — she has a $212,500 check stemming from Highland 75 industrial park land development and maintenance, but nowhere to put it.
"I would like to propose that we create a special bank account for that and not mix it with other funds that have some certain restrictions attached to it, where these funds may have their own set of restrictions," she said at last week's Bartow-Cartersville Joint Development Authority board meeting. "It sounds complicated, but the easy thing to do is put it in its own account and let it create its own dedicated interest for those topics, then decision-makers can decide what to do with it later, but we need a place to deposit this."
The board granted Lemmon her wish and the motion carried. Per CBCDOED Operations Manager Lori Dowdy's research, the best place to deposit the check is in a newly created Bank of the Ozarks account. That bank was chosen, Lemmon said, because they had the best interest rate on the table — around 1.75 percent as a money market account.
"This initial balance is below the FDIC limits," Lemmon said. "We're proposing we create an account labeled something like 'maintenance, development and sales account' and we start with this particular check and then we can have discussions later on."
She also asked the board for their permission to work alongside JDA Treasurer LaDonna Jordan and JDA Assistant Treasurer Beth Tilley on efforts to potentially consolidate several park development accounts.
"The park development funds, we're split among three banks because of the larger balances," she said. "One balance is about $48,000, another balance is $31,000 and the third that earns the best interest is $313,000. So I'd like to just clean that up and put some of that like money in a like account."
The board also gave that item their approval.
"On land sales, our original agreement with the city and the county is that if we sell land and bring money in, then the city and the county instructs us on how to use that," said JDA Chairman James Jarrett. "So far, we haven't been putting it in a separate account, necessarily. It's been going to park development, I think, because it's been part of a [memorandum of understanding] that the city and the county signed, so we kind of have coverage there, but if we had to sell land and it's not within an MOU right now, then it needs to be held separately and have some actions from the city and the county to instruct us on how to use that, just to stay in line with the intergovernmental agreements."
A request for a new utility easement at the Toyo Tire plant in White was also approved.
"At Toyo, the land is actually owned by the State of Georgia," said Cartersville Assistant City Attorney E. Keith Lovell. "The State of Georgia leases that land to the JDA, and we in turn sublease that to Toyo. So Toyo is doing some reconfiguration onsite that is going to require an existing gas utility line to be relocated."
That new easement, Lovell continued, will be granted to the City of Cartersville's gas department.
"Toyo's engineers have looked at it and the City of Cartersville's engineers. There's no responsibility for the Authority involved, except for when the actual easement comes through, ya'll will sign off as the lessee and Toyo will sign off as the sublessee," he said.
"After you all approve it and Toyo approves it, it then goes to the State Properties Commission. How long it will take to get it back from them, I have no idea ... regardless, the city's going to go ahead and do the work anyway, waiting for the state."
Lemmon wrapped up the meeting with a quick update on some of the developmental happenings at the Highland 75 industrial park.
"The water tank is coming along very nicely," she said. "They've pre-painted the top of the tank, so they're going to bring it and assemble it already painted."
According to Bartow County Administrator Peter Olson, that 170-foot-tall, 2-million-gallon tank is expected to be completed around first quarter 2019. Along with plans to construct about 6,000 feet of new waterlines in the industrial park, he anticipates the total project costing roughly $4.5 million.
That funding, he said, will be borrowed from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority.
Lemmon also said steel is beginning to come out of the ground at the site where the new Georgia Department of Transportation District 6 headquarters will soon stand.
"They actually should be done by the end of the year, as I understand it," she said.