Cedar­town votes to ta­ble DAPC agree­ment

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Myrick SJ Edi­tor

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.

Kevin Myrick / SJ

Pas­tor Ken­neth Brown rep­re­sents or­ga­niz­ers bring­ing the 2018 Youth Sum­mer­fest back to Cedar­town be­fore the coun­cil.

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