The original JDA was formed to attract industry to Bartow County and to operate Highland 75, a 707-acre, master-planned industrial park on Cass-White Road. This secondary authority was formed to handle debt issued during the acquisition and improvement of the Highland 75 property.
Tuesday's meeting saw the approval of a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax intergovernmental agreement allowing for debt service payments to be included in the 1-cent SPLOST continuation up for vote in November. This secondary JDA has been formed to take possession of the property and its debt so it may be considered a "new debt" and therefore qualified for SPLOST payments.
"For debt to be paid off in a SPLOST ... it has to be new debt for the city and the county and for this to be considered new debt, it has to be something the city and county will be reacquiring or repaying off," said Keith Lovell, assistant city attorney. "The reason we're creating this board at this time ... is so y'all will be an entity that will be acquiring the land of the industrial park and also the utilities so that the city and county can then use the SPLOST proceeds to reacquire those back under the law according to bond council considered new debt."
Officers for the second JDA were nominated and voted on Tuesday with Eric Strickland appointed chair, Malcolm Cooley vice chair, Ronnie Evans treasurer, Ed Brush assistant treasurer, Greg Frisbee secretary and Carlos Calhoun assistant secretary.