As approved in the last SPLOST vote, Bartow County will pay off the bonds used to build Highland 75 with the special sales tax dollars. When plans were first laid for the park, said authority member Mike Fields, land sales were going to pay off the debt.
“In the beginning we were going to sell all the land and pay off the bonds, and then the recession came along. Things changed,” he said.
Cartersville Assistant City Attorney Keith Lovell updated the authority on the amendment’s background. He said both the Bartow-Cartersville Joint Development Authority and Second Joint Development Authority approved the same measure during a meeting in October 2013.
“SPLOST monies are now paying off that debt instead of land sales, and all the other bond issues associated with it. There were two building authority bond issues and one, of course, Joint Development Authority bond issue,” Lovell said. “All the legal things have been done previously for them to be transferred. Now, for this particular issue, it requires you to approve basically a lease amendment, which, in a nutshell, is taking the city of Cartersville off the lease as a party for their interest, and then the county will own 100 percent of it.
“The reason for that is so the county can get the SPLOST money to pay off the debt. That’s really all there is.”
The building authority was the last body to approve the change in payment sources. Lovell said the authority waited to ensure there would be adequate SPLOST funds available. The first payment using SPLOST funds, he added, is scheduled to occur in August.