Included–Details on how much each county has provided to JDA to date
September 6, 2016
On August 16, 2016 Newton County posted an agenda for a Special Called Meeting which contained item D. Consideration of Amended and Restated IGA Contract relating to Stanton Springs. I attended this meeting to hear all about this new IGA with JDA. Instead, two (2) attorneys and the Newton County BOC went into Executive Session to hear the presentation- out of the public eye. The attorney said they were going into Executive Session for “litigation.” This was nothing more than a violation of open meetings in order to keep this information from the public.
The Newton County BOC then came out of Executive Session and voted on their resolution to approve this new contract with JDA—BEFORE JDA HAD EVEN APPROVED IT! JDA didn’t approve the agreement until August 23, 2016.
In Jasper County it was much the same. The Jasper County BOC posted an agenda for EMS discussion on August 29, 2016. Instead, they held an illegal meeting to discuss the new IGA with JDA. (see Bait & Swith here)
At least the Jasper County BOC did discuss the IGA in public; however, the agenda was not posted and was never approved, and therefore, the meeting was illegal. The county attorney obviously condoned it all as he was a big participant in the meeting.
In order to convince his fellow board members, Comm. Pennamon, who also serves on the JDA, told a few untruths.
Comm. Pennamon told the others that the only thing that will come back to the county after signing this agreement is when we will have another prospect. Really?! When did any member of JDA come to the county for the 1st prospect, Baxter? Or said anything about the $1Billion in bonds? NEVER!! This was all hidden from the counties.
Comm. Pennamon also told the others if a new parkway was needed, then JDA would come back to the county and let them approve it. Yeah, just like they did with the first parkway that cost $2Million—NOT!
When asked how much money would be coming in, total, Comm. Pennamon said right now estimated gross income at end of 2027 (over 10 years) is $31M to $34M. (But of course he added, this is before Shire “re-did” their books.)
We must continue to emphasize, that Jasper County gets 10% after JDA gets their budgets for 10 years, after 10 years of GEFA notes payments, after any other expenses—such as a new parkway, and after 2.5% to the tax commissioner of Newton/Walton county. Hypothetically, that would be about $340,000 per year less all of the above for a grand total to the county of what? $200,000 per year maybe?
Here is a copy of the new agreement. Please read it for yourself. Note Item #11—JDA still has the authority to give tax incentives, and that is without consulting any of the counties involved.
Some have asked how much have “we” (the counties) contributed to JDA so far. This information was provided by Wayne Tamplin, CPA for JDA.
Amount each county has contributed through June 30, 2016
Total JDA has received from counties based on this information $8,934,964.
Your comments are welcome!