Development Authority Meeting Discussed Storm-Damaged Generator and New DCA Representative

Published 3:52 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

The development authority met on August 14th. Rusty Warner, executive director of the development authority introduced Josh Drew, the new college and career academy interm. Mr. Drew showed great enthusiasm for the new Ag facility planned for the high school, citing new opportunities for animal science classes for the Ag teacher. He stated that the deadline for grant money was tight, with the ESEA grant expiring at the end of 2024. However, he expressed optimism that the building’s pre-engineered metal design would be easy to install and mentioned that extensions fpr the grant had been filed. He said that the facility would hopefully be operational by early 2025.
Donnie Roland gave the financial report. Current assets were $1,940,994, net fixed assets were $5,363,852, other assets were $476,737, and total assets were $7,781,583. He gave the monthly income statement. The revenue was $25,498, and expenses were $35,696, with a deficit of $10,199.
Mr. Warner gave the report for June. The employment rate was 5.0, the same as in May. The state unemployment rate is currently 3.2. He gave an update on the construction of Americus Fresh, stating that progress appeared to be going along on schedule.
Mr. Warner gave a description of the MOU made with the company for fiber optics, power, and a gas line. The city of Americus also offered to supply gas as well as water and sewer.
Mr. Warner gave an update on solar field projects which are currently delayed from a lack of PPAs. He also reported a circuit board on the generator at the call center had been struck by a bolt of lightning, triggering the warning system. The generator is functional aside from the alert system that will need to be replaced. He reported that the cost for maintenance would be ready next month.
He mentioned progress with the downtown. He reported they are still working with OneSumter on the workforce housing grant.
Mr. Warner expressed confidence that issues with power should be rectified by next year.
He also brought a request by GSW to the board for a Shark Tank-style program for college students. The cost would be $15,000. The board discussed issues with exclusivity, mentioning other potentially interested parties like the Technical College. The board tabled the motion. GSW also asked for contributions for the upcoming fundraiser for the Promise Scholarship. GSW’s day of giving on Sept. 21st was discussed where restaurants give a portion of their proceeds to the fund. The request was discussed and tabled.
The board discussed issues with lift stations in the industrial park.
Mr. Warner also discussed the new Department of Community Affairs, or DCA, representative, Rebecca White.
He also discussed the success of the new soft opening of the sports bar The Alley at The Windsor. He mentioned that main street would do the ribbon cutting for them on Sept. 8th, 4:00 p.m.
Mr. Warner discussed more about Rebecca White’s credentials after the meeting.
“I’m super excited about having Rebecca White come into our community. She’s worked with the Chamber of Commerce and with the Development Authority in Randolf County and now she’s going to be our representative [along] with several other counties.”