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PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295.
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Pike County Development Authority Meeting - December 6, 2023

ZEBULON - The Development Authority of Pike County met on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at 8 a.m. to discuss regular monthly business. Present were: Mayor Joe Walter, BOC Chairman Briar Johnson, John Edwards, John Barker, John Nix, Kel Brannon, Director Kyle Fletcher, Stuart Essary, County Manager Brandon Rogers, Sonny Gwyn. Several in attendance.

1. Call to order ..... Kel Brannon, Chairman

2. Approval of the Agenda

Motion to add a statement from County Manager Brandon Rogers to the end of the meeting. Approved.

3. Invited Guests
Mark Whitley, Whitley Engineering
Joshua Stewart, Metal Fabricators Inc

Mark Whitley. Some of the lots have topographical issues which will make them more difficult to sell. Proposal to do a topo on them. 105 acres or so. Work with Applied sciences out of Newnan to locate the wetlands, state waters, and flood plains so everything is on a map. Also put utilities on the drawings too. Approximately $15,000. Will sit back down with this group with recommendations after mapping. A couple of lots have sewer in them. That affects the usable area. Some lots may need to be combined. For the future, need to have retention ponds in place, etc. to make them easier to sell if have the funding to do this ahead of time. Wants to help them market the remaining lots.

Joshua Stewart, Metal Fabricators. Family owned. Interested in moving from Atlanta to Pike. Nationwide business. Interested in one of the smaller lots. Flood plain, wetlands, etc. are of interest to him. Doesn’t believe that he is a competitor to Southside Steel. Small fab with quick turnarounds.

4. Approval of the Minutes
a. Approval of the November 1, 2023 Regular Monthly Minutes.

Motion to approve. Approved.

5. Approval of the Financials
a. Approval of the November 2023 Financials

Stuart Essary. July to October. Sold a lot in the Business Park. $10,818 income this year. Walked through expenses and salary to date. Motion to approve. Approved.

6. Old Business

a. Millage Update

Kyle Fletcher. What a quarter of a mill means. $225,875. Took average cost of home in Pike County at $300,000. Investing in economic development for the future is about $30 per homeowner. She wants to tell the story of what industry means to the community brings in business and employment opportunities. Over $5 million in 10 of the businesses. With more industry, hopefully the less taxes the homeowner will have to make. Kyle will be happy to speak to civic groups on this. Think it’s important for people to know where their money is going and what it is doing for them. Need to find more property.

Mayor Joe Walter. 5 lots are in discussion now and should be coming back online to help with taxes in the next two years. Workers are buying items here in the county and helping like that too. We’ve helped bring money into the tax base over the past 5 years. This is return on a 20 year investment in our Business Park.

b. Pike Business Park.

Attorney Rob Morton looked over the agreement. Applicant is excited about this. Closing date is in February. 11.24 acres.

c. Approval of Seyfarth Shaw invoices.

From last year. $13,788. They’ve given us a courtesy discount. Motion to pay these invoices. Approved.

7. New Business

a. Mark Whitley presentation on the Business Park

Proposal is set up like a menu and authorize each task as needed. This helps the board to only pay for what is needed. Mayor Joe Walter said that the price is reasonable, and the value of an electronic topo will help with future sales. First phase is $14,700. Discussion: Sonny asked the question about whether to bid this out. Do the covenants require the board to bid this out. By the time that we stop to do an RFP, then his price is already out there and the price is going to be higher. Motion to proceed with Phase 1 through 3 not to exceed $15,000. Approved.

b. Bids out for loan (on clearing/mulching/grading 54 unsold acres in the Pike Business Park)

Kyle has been meeting with a Forester on this. 7% is what he would get. He is working something up on this. Not completely lot ready. Looking at moving some dirt from one lot to others if needed. Not sure what we will be needed for the future so moving forward with recommendations from Whitley Engineering. Looking to move forward.

c. Brandon Rogers. 238 acres. Short term loan. Not the final loan to get the property in hand. Officially taken ownership. Looking to move forward with a future plan. Only have 2 years before will have to redo the funding source. Anticipate the master plan taking some time with everyone. The City of Zebulon wants to be a part of this. Others have asked about this. Homeowners are concerned with industrial growth and may want to purchase some land to buffer around their homes.

Time frame on the project including Adams Street that ties into this? Until the master plan is completed, there will be no plans because there are way too many questions. Is the Board of Commissioners going to take the lead on this process? The City of Zebulon is also interested in helping through DCA and One Georgia for utilities funding.

Rogers. We don’t really have anyone who can head this up at the county. Discussion of a project manger in the past. Wants to discuss between the BOC and IDA again now. Would the BOC be open to a cooperation agreement for different parties doing different things? Rogers. I can’t answer that because of the contention from the last time. Walters. Maybe a memorandum of understanding. Concern about the project stalling. Needs to be done properly. We have someone on staff at the Development Authority now who could help with this. This could be similar to what Whitley is doing for the Business Park. Rogers. I think it would be beneficial to the county if the Development Authority to works together on this. Walters. Should we discuss this in the January meeting? Want to get this rolling and back on the tax roll. Barker. We went through $10,000 to try to get the intergovernmental agreement. Until the BOC is ready to work together on this, we don’t need to spend any money on this. It takes trust and cooperation.

Johnson. Need to have a joint meeting. This took a lot longer to get done than it should have been. The commissioners were afraid that the land was going to slip through our fingers. Now that we have the land, we can make things happen even if there are some bumps in the road. We are pushing this and will get this done. Not going to rush, but going to get this done.

Brannon. The Development Authority has had a lot of activity this year including a new director, etc. A lot of work has been done and a lot to be proud of.

Johnson. Asked about the new school superintendent maybe attending meetings. Fletcher has met with Interim Iddings. She looks forward to meeting the new superintendent and hoping to see him involved in the future. Johnson. It’s good to be back after missing several meetings. Glad to see a lot of people in the meeting.

Motion to adjourn. 8:54 a.m.

Next Meeting is Wednesday, January 6, 2024 at 8 a.m.

Past Meetings that Pike County Times has attended

February 20, 2023 Joint Commission and IDA Special Called Meeting

June 7, 2023 IDA Meeting and History and Background of the IDA

July 11, 2023 IDA Meeting

July 26, 2023 Special Called IDA Meeting

August 21, 2023 New Development Authority Director Named

September 6, 2023 IDA Meeting

October 4, 2023 IDA Meeting