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Audit of Joint Development Authority shows long-term debt is being cut

The Grady County Joint Development Authority has begun to pay down the principal and interest of all of its existing debt, according to the JDA’s auditor Marc Davis of Tucker, Plymel & Davis, PC, of Moultrie.
“The good thing the 2014 audit shows is that you are paying down on all of your debt now, both interest and principal. It’s good to be operating in that manner,” Davis told authority members last Tuesday.
Based on the 2014 audit presented last week, the authority’s total liabilities were reduced from $1,813,529 on Dec. 31, 2013, to $1,672,555 on Dec. 31, 2014.
The audit also revealed a stronger cash position with cash on hand of $389,188 on Dec. 31, 2014, compared to $209,868 the year prior. However, the audit indicates that net income for the year dropped from $259,996 in 2013 to $112,866 in 2014.
The authority is spending much more on repairs and maintenance of its property than on prospect development, according to the audit. Based on the 2014 audit, the authority spent only $3,701 on prospect development, but $31,751 on repairs and maintenance. In 2013, the authority spent $6,500 on prospect development and $23,794 on repairs.
In other finance related news:
JDA Executive Director Chadd Mathis reported that the final payment on a $450,000 Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) that was obtained by Grady EMC for the Grady County Joint Development Authority has been paid in full.
The loan was made to the JDA in Oct. 2005 and was a zero interest loan that the authority used to complete the former Higdon Furniture Co. project.
The REDLG program is offered by the United States Department of Agriculture to provide funding to rural projects through local utility organizations such as Grady EMC. The ultimate goal of the REDLG program is to create and retain employment in rural areas.
JDA Chairman Charles M. Stafford has previously stated that the authority had saved approximately $142,000 over the life of the loan if the authority had not been awarded the zero interest loan and had to borrow the money at prime.
In other business, following a closed session the authority voted unanimously to allow Woodhaven Industries to use a nearly two-and-a-half acre tract of land owned by the authority for parking for the Woodhaven plant. According to Mathis, the authority will not make any improvements to the property and will not charge the company for use of the property. “If we need it for job creation, then they will have to move off the property. They’ve been a good corporate citizen and employ a lot of folks so we thought it was appropriate to allow them to use the property at no charge,” Mathis said.

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