The Oconee County Board of Commissioners is set to give formal approval tomorrow night to an agreement whereby the county will pay John W. Rooker and Associates nearly $250,000 to build a roadway to property Rooker Properties LLC bought from the county in its Gateway Business Park.
The Georgia Department of Transportation gave the county a $172,000 grant to pay for the bulk of the cost. The county, through its Industrial Development Authority, will pay the remaining $75,674 from the money it earned from the sale of the property to Rooker.
The county’s Industrial Development Authority agreed in June of 2013 to sell Rooker LLC approximately 12 acres at the corner of Aiken Road and McNutt Creek Road just south of Bogart for $300,000.
That money from the sale was put into escrow to pay for the road to the project, but the IDA will retain most of that money because of the state grant.
No Bid Contract
The Industrial Development Authority, a legally separate unit of county government, was not required to seek bids for the project and did not do so, according to County Attorney Daniel Haygood.
Instead it negotiated with John W. Rooker and Associates for the cost of the project. Haygood told the Board of Commissioners at its June 24 meeting that the county had reduced the price by $40,000 through those negotiations.
John W. Rooker and Associates and Rooker Properties LLC share the same address, 4920 N Royal Atlanta Drive in Tucker.
The BOC gave tentative approval to an intergovernmental agreement between the county and its Industrial Development Authority at its June 24 meeting specifying the nature of the agreement regarding the Rooker roadway.
The agreement was put onto the consent agenda for tomorrow night’s meeting, meaning it will be passed without discussion unless a Commissioner asks that it be taken off that agenda.
New Road Details
The new road will run 0.13 miles, starting at McNutt Creek Road and ending 706 feet west of McNutt Creek Road and will serve the property to be developed by Rooker, according to the details of the intergovernmental agreement.
According to County Attorney Haygood, Rooker has a tenant “who does a fairly high-tech pharmaceutical application.” The name of that tenant has not been released.
Rooker LLC is a design and construction firm specializing in industrial development.
The agreement on the agenda for tomorrow night includes a purchase order from the Board of Commissioners to John W. Rooker and Associates dated March 3, 2014, for $247,674.
The Industrial Development Authority has had no success until just recently with development of the Gateway Business Park not far from the Barrow County line on SR 316 between Pete Dickens Road, Aiken Road and McNutt Creek Road.
The 120-acre-plus park consists of two parcels of roughly equal size that are separated by land not owned by the county. The Development Authority also owns three smaller parcels on the south side of SR 316.
The county rezoned the land north of SR 316 more than 10 years ago using a special Technology Business zone. The three small tracts south of SR 316 total about 18 acres.
The IDA has agreed to sell the 18 acres south of SR 316 to Andrew Clyde, who owns Clyde Armory, 4800 Atlanta Highway near Bogart.
County and IDA
The intergovernmental agreement states that the county and IDA have the same goals of economic development for the county.
It also states that the county has expertise in roadway construction and the IDA does not and that the county has a Finance Department and that the IDA does not.
According to Haygood, the county itself will be assuming the costs of staff time of the Public Works Department, the Finance Department, and others needed for the project as well as paying for his involvement in the project.
The clip below runs 4.5 minute and provides the full discussion at the June 24 meeting of the intergovernmental agreement.
No Bid Contract
"The Industrial Development Authority, a legally separate unit of county government, was not required to seek bids for the project and did not do so, according to County Attorney Daniel Haygood."
They may not be required to seek bids, but isn't that a best practice and the only way to make sure all of the spending is done at the lowest price?
How come almost every transaction involving the IDA have a whiff of a sweethear deal???
I agree with anonymous. Seems like a nice deal. You buy land from the county and then the county gives you the money back to build a road. So you get the land which now has a road. It sure does have an odor.
If it quacks like a duck . . .
Getting that whiff requires being in the proper spot to pick up that little bit of emanation as byproduct of the entire reaction.
Oh, and it helps to have friend.
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