IDA learns of their financial standing

Published 7:09 pm Friday, May 30, 2014

Despite a reduction in fund balance over the previous year, the Development Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County remains on solid financial ground. This comes according to local certified public accountant Perry Henry as he presented the 2013 audit report to the Development Authority board of directors Thursday.
A significant portion of the prior year’s $877,715 fund balance was spent on costs associated with the purchase of the Bainbridge Manufacturing facility, the authority ended 2013 with a $326,018 fund balance.
The authority had general fund revenues of $306,646 in 2013, with $204,480 coming from property tax allocations and $62,225 from the city of Bainbridge. Expenditures totaled $359,639, a deficit of $52,994, with a large one-time expense of $74,171 to make required improvements to the building occupied by Bainbridge Manufacturing.
“With any development authority, you have big swings. When nothing is happening, you tend to build up a big cash balance. But when activity increases, you can have these big negative swings,” explained Henry. “But even with that, a $326,000 fund balance is very good.”
Authority executive director Rick McCaskill updated the board on recent activity.
Tradewind Energy, the Kansas-based renewable energy company, is again attempting to win a contract with Georgia Power to supply solar energy. Last year, the company was an unsuccessful bidder on a 20-megawatt solar project through Georgia Power. Those solar panels would have been located on land in the Decatur County Industrial Park.
Now, with urging from Georgia Power, Tradewind Energy has submitted proposal ranging from 70-110 mega-watts in size. With the increase in the scope and size of the project, the company would use the land in the industrial park with additional land leased from private landowners in the area.
“Georgia Power has been heavily involved because Tradewind is a preferred bidder on the solar initiative,” McCaskill said. “With the original 20-megawatt project, it would have put $74 million in equipment on the tax rolls. Now, the minimum size would be three times the original bid.”
McCaskill indicated that Tradewind would know by the end of the summer whether or not their bid was successful.