WPDA to participate in Georgia Tech Economic Development Research Program

Published 7:05 am Tuesday, November 24, 2020

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On Monday, the West Point Development Authority heard from Stifel representative Andrew Tritt in regards to the city’s water and sewer bond refinancing.

Since April 4 (when the bond issue was brought up), Tritt believes that the bond will be able to save the city roughly $3 million through the course of the loan.

“We just wanted to give you a brief update,” Tritt said. “We’re closer to a final transaction and wanted to alert you guys to the possibility that we would be coming back in the very near future in the form of a called meeting to help the city realize these significant savings.”

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While there haven’t been any papers drawn up and Stifel is waiting for a response from the West Point City Council, which will happen at Tuesday’s council meeting, Tritt gave the Development Authority an interest rate of 2.29%, which is down from 2.5% to 29%, for 15 years.

“It’ll give the city cash flow savings of excess of $200,000 per year and they are able to pay it off sooner than originally contemplated,” Tritt said.

The WPDA would serve as a conduit to the city, which they did in 2012 to secure the loans.

Tritt will bring the numbers to the West Point City Council on Tuesday.

WPDA also approved its financial report from August through November. In that four-month span, WPDA reported a net income loss of $62,348.

In its 2020 budget, the WPDA planned to receive $120,000 from the Intergovernmental Income (which includes monies obtained from other governments and can include grants, shared taxes, and contingent loans and advances) but received $90,000.

West Point Economic Development Director Meghan Duke announced to the authority that the city was selected to participate in the Georgia Tech Economic Development Research Program.

“It is to help the community identify opportunities for the 10th street corridor, which serves as the primary gateway into the city of West Point,” Duke said. “The Economic Development Research Program is federally funded through Georgia Tech’s US Economic Development Administration.”

Georgia Tech will review all of the studies and plans that the city has already done on the 10th Street project, do a field visit and an analysis of the existing conditions and identify redevelopment nodes.

“We’ve had some conversation regarding the parcels that the development authority has acquired over the years about what opportunities might be available there or what other lands might be available,” Duke said.

The estimated cost for the analysis is $30,460. The WPDA and city of West Point will split their $8,000 part of the estimated cost.

“I think this will give us some quantitative data, some numbers to look at what is the value of reinvestment and what impact that would look like in our community,” Duke said. “We have a lot of things that we desire and strengths and weaknesses and opportunities, but I think having some numbers to look at the value of 10th street and what it brings to our community will help us as we continue to look at what development we want there.”

The estimated time for the project’s completion is roughly three and a half months.

WPDA approved the signing of the service agreement and to pay half of the $8,000. The project is expected to start in December and end in April of 2021.