County contributes $79,000 to joint development authority

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By Nick Nunn staff writer

During 2013 Morgan County contributed approximately $79,000 to the Joint Development Authority (JDA), an authority comprised of Jasper, Morgan, Newton, and Walton Counties. The amount expended by the county is due to its 15 percent partnership in the venture. According to financial documents given to the JDA by Wayne Tamplin, CPA for Treadwell, Tamplin & Co., Morgan County’s contributions to the JDA are slightly down from last year, when the county expended around $88,000 to the authority.

“Everyone is paid and up to date,” said Tamplin about each county’s yearly payments. The total amount paid by Morgan County to the JDA since its inception in 1998 has been approximately $1,174,000. The JDA’s total receipts since 1998 have been roughly $38,065,000, while their total expenditures have equaled about $37,995,000 for an excess of about $70,000. Tamplin also gave the authority members a “snapshot” of the JDA’s debt, which includes $324,000 owed on a Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) note, more than $1,342,000 owed on a Bank of Madison note, $85,000 owed from credit lines with the Bank of Madison, and $4,200,000 remaining on a bonds payable balance as of December 31, 2013. He also told the JDA that monthly payments of $4,917 on a $59,000 administration fee to GEFA would continue to be paid through September 1, 2014.

Kevin Little, chair of the Walton County Board of Commissioners and vice chair of the JDA, said that he would like to see the projection that JDA members received near the inception of the project, which stated how quickly the counties will be “made full” by the tax incomes that they would receive from the Stanton Springs development.

Little said that he recalled the projections listing that counties would be paid back in full by around 2020, only two years after the development would begin to create revenue for the counties. Little noted that constituents often question the amount of money that his county has to pay into the JDA, and he said he would like to have the document to be able to show them concrete projections for the counties’ future earnings. Paul Michael of TPA Group said that he would locate those early projection documents and have them ready for the authority members by the next meeting.

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