Sunday, June 10, 2018

Items Not On Oconee County Industrial Development Authority Agenda Can Dominate Those On Agenda

***Last Month An Example***

The official agenda for the regular meeting of Oconee County Industrial Authority on Monday is the standard one.

It includes adoption of the agenda and the financial report for the Authority as well as reports from individual members.”

But as Board Chair Rick Waller said at the beginning of the meeting last month, “We run a pretty casual meeting. We’re not going to get too formal with Roberts Rules of Orders or anything.”

Waller then added two items to the agenda, and the Authority subsequently approved unanimously the spending of up to $375,115 on a contract to beautify Mars Hill Road and preliminarily approved up to $115 million in bond funding to Presbyterian Homes for construction of is Oconee Campus.

Mars Hill Road

The beautification of Mars Hill Road will include the planting of 660 treas of different species along the roadway, beginning at Daniells Bridge Road and running through to Butler’s Crossing.

Beall With Presentation

Some of those trees will be planted in the median.

In addition, vines or even a mural will be used to cover the concrete slab at Hodges Mill Road.

Traffic is now running freely along the just completely roadway. Some final sod installation is still ongoing, County Administrator Justin Kirrouac told me last week.

State Route

To get state funding for construction of the roadway, the county had to turn it over to the state, which imposed state and federal standards.

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell told the IDA he expected the state to turn the road back to the county in the fall.

Funding for the beautification project is coming from money the county borrowed through bond sales when it built Parkway Boulevard as part of the expansion of Epps Bridge Centre.

Ken Beall and Associates was awarded the contract for the work Mars Hill beautification.

Presbyterian Homes

Jerry Peterson, representing Presybyterian Homes, told the IDA he was asking for preliminary approval for the Authority to issue up to $115 million in revenue bonds for the Presbyterian Village Athens to be located on U.S. 441 at Hog Mountain Road.

He said the bonds would be repaid through funds potential tenants pay as entrance fees, through a United State Department of Agricultural loan for heath centers, and bonds sold to institutional investors and banks.

Jim Woodward, who serves as a consultant to the county on bond sales, said the package proposed by Presbyterian Homes would have no impact on the county, though the Board of Commissioners would have to hold a public hearing before approving.

Alex Patterson from Presbyterian Homes said construction is scheduled for the fall.


I was not able to attend the meeting of the Industrial Development Authority but Sarah Bell did attend and recorded the video below.

Beall began his presentation at 2:35 in the video.

Peterson began his presentation at 22:57.

OCO: IDA 5 14 18 from Lee Becker on Vimeo.

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