By PJ Martin
The Edmonton-Metcalfe County Industrial Development Authority Board (IDA) met in a regular session on Monday, July 25th. Those absent were Donna Caffee, Mark Linkous, and Judge/Executive Harold Stilts.
Chairman Wes Jolly presented good news to the members in attendance. He had spoken with the Judge and Magistrates about the TVA RDAPP funds again. The fiscal court members related that they feel like they have completed what they promised to do for Pennington Stave & Cooperage (PS&C) for phase I.
Jolly then suggested to the fiscal court members, “What if we used RDAPP funds to handle the debt of the cost overrun, but we don’t give it to Chad until the second phase? They were open to that. They had no issue with that.”
Jolly asked that the matter be added to the agenda of the next fiscal court meeting. He was later advised that a special called fiscal court meeting was held on Friday, July 22nd.
“It is my understanding that the fiscal court did vote on Friday to designate the RDAPP funds to the IDA Board for use in paying the debt of the cost overrun with the understanding caveat that there would be no further incentive given to Pennington Stave & Cooperage until phase II.”
Jolly added, “This is a big deal. I want you to understand, we’re not going to have to borrow money.”
“I think this is a great compromise!” noted Jolly adding, “I think this addresses the concern of the fiscal court…they’re interested in seeing this thing [PS&C] grow and become bigger than what it is…I do applaud them.… They didn’t have to do this, but they’re doing this because it makes financial sense.”
The vote requires a resolution be drafted and signed and that has not been completed yet. The RDAPP funds for fiscal years 20-21 and 21-22 are available, but the current fiscal year 22-23 funds will not be available until the end of August.
Jolly then gave an update on the work at the South Industrial Park stating that he had participated in a zoom call with Chad Pennington and Emily from BRADD the prior week. “Everything is progressing at the speed with what, the escalated speed that we thought it ought to.”