Cedartown votes to table DAPC agreement
Cedartown Commissioners decided that they wanted more time to talk over proposed changes to the intergovernmental agreement that determines how municipalities come to terms with potential business investors they seek to court.
City Manager Bill Fann began a discussion during the latest Commission meeting that the amendments don’t take into account items that he wanted to see changed overall in the agreement.
Fann didn’t take any issue with the proposed changes over the timing of how offers are handled, but did cite that longstanding language in the agreement between the DAPC, cities and their development authorities, and the county government doesn’t fix issues that would potentially benefit the city.
Specifically, that wording allows the DAPC to have authority to make decisions on future purchases of property for development and the financing, and also with their ability to negotiate utility rates.
“I would like to see these issues addressed, and I don’t know if the other entities involved have asked about that or not,” Fann said.
DAPC President and CEO Missy Kendrick, who sat in the audience, did say that she wasn’t happy with all the language within the agreement herself but added that since it was approved well before she took over the role as head of the development authority, she felt it better to make corrections in respect only to the time that a response is made to a prospect and change the incentive structure.
“We didn’t change the structure of the agreement or anything else,” she said. “I know the county has already approved it, but it won’t change until everyone approves it.”
She added that it was her idea to approve the amendments as they stand to allow her to work faster with prospects now, but also to continue to work through a process to address concerns and make fixes where necessary.
Commissioner Matt Foster asked if they approved the language as it stands currently what leverage the city might have in improving their opportunities in making incentive offers to businesses who are looking to invest in one of the industrial sites in Cedartown.
Fann added on that “the county approved it because the county doesn’t have any utility rates to worry about.”
He followed that up to say that he didn’t believe the DAPC had any authority to adjust utility rates without the city’s consent, which Kendrick said she didn’t believe was the intent of the language.
Fann said he wasn’t worried about what Kendrick might do or offer a business seeking to invest in Polk County, but what her predecessor might do if they read the language of the agreement a different way.
Ultimately, commissioners decided that for now they wanted to table the agreement until more discussions about the language could be had between the city and the DAPC, with the view to work toward greater fixes at one time.
The issue can be brought back before the commission during their March session as old business and approved.
Pastor Kenneth Brown represents organizers bringing the 2018 Youth Summerfest back to Cedartown before the council.