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Commission discusses BCIDA funds

The appropriation of funds to the Butler County Industrial Development Association (BCIDA) for the Butler County Industrial Park led the discussion Thursday evening at the workshop of the Butler County Commission.

Chris Simmons, representing the BCIDA, explained that a revision had been made in the document guaranteeing those funds.

"We came here to revise the pledge agreement to the fact that there is only $160,000 per year that can be appropriated to the BCIDA, and any funds that are not used will roll over to the next year," explained Simmons.

"This does what we intended to do all along, and that is an appropriation of $160,000 per year and if it is not used, then the money can be re-appropriated the next year," said Malloy Chandler, president of the BCIDA.

Calvin Poole, attorney for the Butler County Commission, said that there are a few minor revisions, but the document is basically ready to be voted on. "The concern of the

commission was that the money might actually have to be paid in, but the bank has agreed to simply let the commission earmark the funds and retain them, and then if they have to call upon the commission to submit the funds, then the bank will submit a letter, and then the commission will create a resolution and the next business day will submit a check," said Poole.

Commissioner William L. Phillips said that his major concern was that the commission is now tied to the agreement, and for approximately the next 10 years, the guaranteed funds may keep them from funding other projects.

"The thing about the $1.6 million guarantee is that we guaranteed the funds off the bottom, and now it is coming off the top. We have sufficient collateral and we need to be turned loose. Because of that collateral, you should be able to release the commission at that point."

Chandler said that he understood the commissioner's concern, but the bank is the one that determines what is needed in the guarantee.

According to the resolution, the incorporation of the BCIDA was approved by the commission in 1999 "to finance industrial-related projects, all for the benefit and welfare of the citizens of Butler County." Then, in 2000, construction began on the facilities at the industrial park by the BCIDA and money to fund the project was borrowed from People's Bank & Trust Company, for which the county has guaranteed repayments.

The revisions will be voted on at Monday's regular meeting.

Also at Thursday night's meeting, discussion of the security system at the Butler County Courthouse was brought before the commission.

Chief Deputy Ron Coleman provided the commission with the plans for the security system for the courthouse, which was then discussed. According to the plans, the east entrance of the courthouse would be closed, and visitors to the building would only be able to enter through the west entrance, where a certified officer would monitor the entrance. However, in the case of an emergency, all exits would still be available.

Coleman brought the plans before the commission Thursday to ask for the commission to vote on a resolution at Monday's meeting.

Also on Monday, the commission will discuss:

a land purchase for the county;

dog and cat fees;

the resignation of Evelyn Harden, the jail nurse;

the minutes of Feb. 11;

the payment of bills.