CITY TO PURCHASE NEW MEGASITE—COST UNKNOWN TO PUBLIC—40 YEARS OF DEBT TO BUY

June 7, 2017

The Monticello News recently printed an article titled, “City to Purchase Megasite for Water, Growth”  Even though the Monticello News reported “the purchase WILL be made through USDA grants and loans,” there has NOT been a grant nor a loan application submitted to the USDA by the City of Monticello.  The land acquisition has been discussed in executive session only.  This is NOT a done deal, yet.

Why wasn’t the location of this new proposed Megasite detailed in the article?  Where is the site?  The site is 705 acres currently owned by CKG Partnership and located to the south of Monticello bordering Highway 11 on the east, Feldspar Rd. on the south, and Perimeter Rd. (380) on the north. 

This parcel of land is valued at $1,309,900 on the Jasper County tax books, and the property taxes collected each year are approximately $18,000.  Did you know that if the City buys this property, there will no longer be property taxes collected on it?

The asking price for the site (705 acres) is $3,295,000 and it is being offered by Macallan Real Estate.  Is this the price the City is willing to pay for this property?  The City appears to have a pending contract on this site.  What is the amount of the contract?  Why can’t the citizens see a copy of the contract?

More info on the site click here     

The City says they will borrow enough money to pay for the site and water lines, but they are unsure of how long it will take to run the lines.  How much will the water lines and the land acquisition to run them cost? Surely, the City Council members have an idea of the cost.

What will be the total amount of this 40-year loan?  Why is it a secret from the very people that will be paying for it?

Can the City go through JCWSA designated territory without paying a “wheeling fee” for each gallon of water, or will JCWSA take the City to court as they did with Alcovy Shores Water to “claim their territory?”

Exactly what will be the amount of the 40-year loan and what will the interest rate be?  A low interest loan can still cost thousands of dollars a month.  The current 40-year USDA loan the JCWSA is paying is almost $11,000 a month.

Where will the City of Monticello get the money to pay the loan when they can not afford to have a police department any longer?  Will the citizens of Monticello suffer higher utility bills, higher property taxes, or both?  Will the COUNTY taxpayers, in the name of economic development, soon be saddled with this loan payment?

Will 2 million gallons of water a day (mgd), the amount the article states is permitted at the site, be able to provide “ALL THE WATER NEEDED” for current needs, growth needs, and industrial expansion?  How far will 2 mgd of water go if 400 acres will be used for industrial development, as stated in the article?

Citizens have been led to believe that “more development will lower our taxes.”  Did you know that every time new industry is brought to the county, they are given 10 years of tax breaks—no property taxes to be paid, as well as low interest loans?  For at least 10 years there will be no property tax revenue from the new industry to pay for the USDA loan.  The citizens that are already here will foot the bill.  How much will it be?  Again, can the people that live in Monticello afford it?  With what resources will this loan be paid? 

There are already many local businesses closing and/or leaving the Square; have these businesses been offered tax incentives or help?  It seems that there is always money available for outside businesses to come here, while our own Jasper County businesses are left to struggle on their own. 

The Megasite sounds exciting, but the devil is always in the details.  It is the details that the public, the ones that will pay for it, should know up front, and not after they are saddled with 40 years of debt.

TWG

Citizens, be informed and stay informed!  Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County.  That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.

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6 Responses to CITY TO PURCHASE NEW MEGASITE—COST UNKNOWN TO PUBLIC—40 YEARS OF DEBT TO BUY

  1. Andy Malcom says:

    I doubt you guys will receive much water from a 40 acre lake. This sounds similar to the boondoggle in Walton County called the Hard labor Creek Reservoir, corruption galore and more to come. But if you need water, Walton County is looking for customers since Walton has no current use for the 1200 acres of water. And I might add, they also have no way of pumping the water out of the reservoir and no money to do so. Do not make the same mistake Walton County made, even on a smaller scale.

  2. Fake News or City Government Lies? says:

    Either Monticello News misreported the story of the City of Monticello lied. Either way, one would think the City would step forward and attempt to clarify or validate the story, but apparently the city council and mayor doesn’t have enough respect for the people of Jasper County to come forward with the truth. I’m sure the Monticello News being the responsible news source it is will follow though with an update on why the county organ printed a fake news story as fact.. I’ll be holding my breath.

  3. Tell me the truth says:

    From time to time, we hear of city and county consolidation.

    Is the city raking up some huge debts, knowing that there is a backroom deal for consolidation and the county will end up burdened with the debt?

  4. marty fuller says:

    Actually the advertisement is severely wrong. There are very few if any mature pines and some hardwood. The property does not board 35,000 acres of Piedmont. It boards 244 acres of US National Forest Service. Piedmont is a federal land preserve not a federal public land.

    If notice is taken the last of the mature woods were just cut before it went up for sale. What is left is 10+ years away from being big enough for marketable timber.

    I have had a lease adjoining this property for 25+ years. A lot of misguidance in the features.

    Last, if the city is doing this for water resource and intending industrial development as well, is there enough water or does industry have to dig wells?????? If so is the water table sufficient for industry.

    ________________________________

  5. Why The Rush To Destroy Rural Jasper County ? says:

    City and county politicians lie, incessantly even, that’s a given. Deception and corruption is just part of the essence of Jasper County and City government. Always has been, Always will be. To paraphrase the late great comedian George Carlin, deceitful government is as good as it gets in Jasper County.Be happy with what you’ve got, it doesn’t get any better.
    That is said, corruption is just nature of the Jasper County beast, but why that beast would want to destroy it’s own rural landscapes and replace it with ugly urban sprawl and all the social and economic problems that follows is mystery to me, maybe even to the beasts as well.

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