Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cities And Counties Told They Must Step Up Or Step Out

During the July 20, 2016 Southeast Arkansas Intermodal Authority Board meeting, the Chairman of the Authority, John Lipton, informed the two cities and two counties that created the authority and which own 25% each of the real property and improvements, that in order to entice private industry to locate in the authority's industrial park, the two cities and two counties must step up to the plate with money.  A good deal of the meeting consisted of discussion about what it takes to recruit jobs to south Arkansas and the entire state.  Mr. Lipton and others on the board repeated several times that the way industrial development operates these days, local communities in some way must come up with substantial dollars to contribute.  Mr. Lipton stated that the local communities must "give till it hurts."  To date, Warren, Monticello and Drew and Bradley Counties have paid out several hundred thousand dollars to help develop the intermodal park and the authority continues to carry accounts receivable charged to the four local governments.  As of the July, 20th financial statement, the amounts owed are as follows:
Drew County-$114,874.35
Bradley county-$184,770.99

The intermodal board voted to pay $150,000.00 on the outstanding loan to Commerical Bank.  The amount owed after the payment is $359,147.19.  Information on the remaining expenses for construction work on the site were unavailable.

Other business dealt with during the meeting included the financial report presented by Bob Milton and a very brief update on construction work by Garver Engineers.

Board members were informed by the director of the MEDC that the Monticello Economic Development Commission is talking with and preparing information for a prospect that may have an interest in locating within the park sometime in the future. The board approved a resolution committing around 70 acres of the intermodal park if needed.   

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