The Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority measured its progress against the one-year goals set at a planning retreat six months ago at the regular meeting Tuesday.

Two of the five one-year goals have already been met, with the remaining three already in the works, according to Executive Director Brad Lofton. The Authority has surpassed its goal of being on the short list for deals totaling more than $75 million by $50 million.

The $76 million in capital investment created in the last six months has also surpassed the original goal of $75 million.

Since Jan. 1, 502 jobs have been created by the Authority, which is just 98 jobs short of their one year goal of 600.

Accomplishment of the final two goals will depend on the final budget approved by both the city and the county.

These goals include implementation of a direct marketing plan in Florida and California and the purchase of 2,000 acres to establish an inventory of available land.

Currently, the Authority has approximately 300 acres remaining in its inventory, which Lofton stated is disbursed throughout the county with not very many large tracts remaining.

In the area of funding, the Board approved a formal letter, which was requesting by the county, asking that the Authority be placed on the millage rate allowing one mill of tax dollars be levied for the Authority. With questions arising over possible changes in SPLOST law, the possibility of placing the Authority on the millage rate will attempt to maintain its current level of funding.

“The county has thrown us a safety net,” Chairman John Peeples said. “We are not looking to the county to fund us. We have always been and will continue to be a creature of the city and county governments, but we have 11 days in the fiscal year and everybody is trying to make sure we can keep the lights on. It is up to our elected officials to decide how they want to fund us.”



In other business, the Authority:

* Reappointed Chairman John Peeples, Vice Chairman Jerry Jennett and Secretary/Treasurer Gary Minchew to serve for the 2007-08 year.

* Approved $6,100 to allow a private company to perform a soil boring at the Lake Park Industrial Park.

* Received an update from the Rail Committee. The committee is seeking the assistance of the Authority in relocating the St. Augustine Road rail yard. Lofton stated the relocation is expected to be a positive move from the standpoint of both public safety and logistics.

* Heard an update on the progress of Project Pittsburgh, a Fortune 100 company. The company has narrowed the search to the Valdosta area, Warner Robins and two communities in Alabama.

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