Second JDA approves Highland 75 payments
by Jason Lowrey
Apr 09, 2014 | 1249 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With funds from the 2014 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax rolling in, the Bartow-Cartersville Second Joint Development Authority has approved its first payment this year on the Highland 75 business park debt.

The payment of $336,914.50 was due by May 1 and will cover only interest, said Cartersville-Bartow County Economic Development Executive Director Melinda Lemmon.

“We received the first of two [SPLOST] checks at the beginning of March 5. They were deposited in toward the end of the month. We received two more checks that will actually show up on the April statement,” she said. “The long story short is that the SPLOST account that you all approved at the last meeting is officially active now and has a current balance of $795,319.62 that will show up on the next financial statement.”

The second JDA board also approved the December, January and February financial statements during its Tuesday morning meeting. The board then looked ahead to the next payment, which is due by Nov. 1. The board authorized signers for the $976,914.50 payment in advance. Lemmon added the payment would go toward the principal amount as well as the interest. All payments will be submitted to the first JDA, which will then make the final payment.

“I guess everybody understands why we’re writing checks from the second authority to the first authority,” board member Ronnie Evans explained. “Because they have the liability from what I understand ... so we write a check over to the first authority so they can make the bond payments.”

If the SPLOST funds hold up to projections, Lemmon said after the meeting, it is possible the bonds may be paid off sometime during 2015. The amount owed on Highland 75 is approximately $13 million.

“We’re hoping that if SPLOST revenues come in as they’re projected to we might be able to pay off the bonds early at the earliest call date of 2015. If we can do that it saves a substantial amount of interest. I belive the estimate is about $5 million in interest. That’s why all of this is so important: the second joint development authority, the savings to the community. ... It may take a little bit longer than that with the way SPLOST is looking right now, but that’s the goal, that’s the target,” she said.