McCaskill to head Chamber temporarily

Published 7:35 pm Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Development Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County is in sound financial condition with adequate cash on hand.

Perry Henry, the authority’s auditor, issued an “unqualified opinion” of the year ended Dec. 31, 2009, financial statements during the monthly meeting of the Development Authority last Thursday.

An unqualified opinion means that the auditor discovered no questions or issues to be corrected in the financial statements. The authority ended 2009 with total assets of $2.46 million, total liabilities of $1.4 million resulting in $1.06 million in net assets.

Email newsletter signup

Included in the net assets are $418,805 in cash, or unrestricted assets, and $641,641 in capital assets, minus any related debt.

“The $418,000 in unrestricted assets is a very healthy figure, the best figure you have had in quite some time,” Henry related to the members of the authority.

The purchase of the building that once housed American Fibers and Yarns by the authority for $1.51 million last year increased both the authority’s assets and liabilities.

Authority Executive Director Rick McCaskill announced that the building once occupied by TRACO on U.S. 27 North in the Decatur County Industrial Park has been put on the market with the Hart Company, a real estate company that specializes in industrial property, for $3.495 million.

The authority also voted unanimously to name Keith Lyle as vice-chairman.

Bruce Kirbo Jr., the previous vice chairman, resigned from the authority due to personal conflicts. Jason Lee of Bates and Associates replaced Kirbo on the authority.

The authority also unanimously voted to allow McCaskill to serve as the interim president of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce for a period of 90 days. McCaskill will serve following the departure of Evelyn Clay, who is relocating to New Mexico.

“I appreciate the work done by Evelyn and we plan on maintaining with the good staff remaining at the Chamber,” said McCaskill.

Chamber Chairman Matt Palmer said that McCaskill was a natural choice to lead the chamber on an interim basis while conducting the search for the next president.

“We are happy that Rick will be coming on board. With his deep experience, along with the staff already here, we will be in good shape going forward,” Palmer said.

McCaskill is joined by veteran Chamber employee Diane Strickland, who is the membership and finance manager; and Kim Walden, who recently joined the Chamber’s staff as the executive assistant.

Walden, who is a University of Florida graduate with a degree in public relations, recently relocated to Bainbridge from Gainesville, Fla., where she directed the Florida State Employees’ Charitable Campaign, the Combined Federal Campaign and was the impact manager for the United Way Campaign. Walden previously spent 10 years working for Gator Boosters, Inc.—the fund-raising arm for Gator athletics.

After a short closed session to discuss personnel matters, McCaskill’s appointment to the chamber, and real estate acquisition, the authority voted unanimously to purchase 1.72 acres adjacent to Commodore Industrial Park for $85,000 from the City of Bainbridge and Decatur County for a future development project.