The Halifax County Industrial Development Authority is tightening its belt this fiscal year.
The IDA Board of Directors approved the budget for fiscal 2022 at a meeting on Friday morning.
The budget is $ 2,314,341.80, compared to last year’s budget of $ 4,880,429.
“Most of the items that could be cut have been cut to make up for our current situation,” IDA Board Treasurer Rick Harrell said in his budget presentation proposal. “If we do something other than what is planned this year, it (the budget) is very close. We’ll have to find a way to pay for it.
Harrell also reported to the Board of Directors that the IDA ended May with an operating cash balance of $ 535,646.
Board member Jeremy Catron pointed out that the budget for prospecting, marketing and public relations has been drastically reduced from $ 95,282 in fiscal 2021 to $ 34,182 in fiscal year 2022.
He expressed his view that the tight marketing budget could be a hindrance for IDA’s next executive director. The IDA is in the middle of a search process for a permanent executive director.
“We unfortunately have to pay our own costs for everything right now,” Harrell replied, explaining the need for major budget cuts. “This is not typical for other CIDs in the same situation. “
Former IDA Acting Director Kristy Johnson noted that while IDA’s financial situation changes in the coming months, the Prospect, Marketing and Public Relations category is one of the first budget categories to go to. the funds would be channeled.
Vice Chairman of the Board Jeremy Satterfield said that due to COVID-19, the IDA would likely have to change its marketing strategies anyway, because in the current climate, it is possible to market prospects in the region without them “ever setting foot in Halifax County.” “
He said he would “keep an eye” on marketing trends to see if this new standard continues, now that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
Harrell put forward a motion to approve IDA’s 2022 budget, and Board member Nancy Pool seconded the motion. All council members present voted “yes” on the approval of the budget, with council member Ryland Clark absent from the meeting.
At Friday’s meeting, the IDA board also authorized board chairman Robert Bates to sign a $ 550,000 loan agreement and promissory note with the County Board of Supervisors of ‘Halifax.
“This is the retrofitting of the old Daystrom building so that RTP can move into Section A of the building,” IDA interim executive director Mike Davidson said.
He explained that the loan has an interest rate of 3.75% and that the payments will be made annually.
RTP Co. Engineered Thermoplastic Compounds operates from a building located at 1150 Greens Folly Road in South Boston, adjacent to the former Daystrom building. The company will continue to operate at its current location, using the section of the neighboring building that it leases from IDA for storage.
Harrell made a motion to approve the loan agreement with the supervisory board, and Satterfield seconded the motion.
“I think we have to note that the county has made a good effort to help us save the industry (RTP) here,” Harrell commented.
Bates remarked: “It is a good show of faith that we are also trying to work together as partners. “
The supervisory board agreed to sign the loan agreement and promissory note with IDA for the fitting out of the building at its meeting on June 7. The vote was changed to 6 to 1, with ED-6 supervisor Stanley Brandon voting no and President Hubert Pannell abstaining from the vote.
IDA leases 79,000 square feet of space in the former Daystrom building from RTP for 10 years. RTP Co. will pay IDA $ 138,250 for the first year of the lease.
At Friday’s meeting, Davidson briefed the board on the building’s layout, which he said is “going very well.”
He said the updates to the fire sprinkler system were complete and the lighting in Section A of the building had also been changed. The ventilation / heating system is the only major renovation that remains to be completed.
RTP is expected to move into Section A of the building in mid-August.
Davidson also briefed the board on the search for a new executive director for IDA.
The Greensboro, NC-based consulting firm that IDA hired to do the research, Jorgenson Consulting, is expected to hand a list of five to eight candidates for the job to Davidson next week, which he will share with the executive director’s search committee to review.
From that point on, Davidson said the committee will select the top two or three candidates, who will be interviewed by the full IDA board on July 23.
Members of the Executive Director Search Committee are IDA Board Chair, Bates, and Harrell, Board Member, Scott Simpson, Halifax County Administrator, and Garland Ricketts, Vice- Chairman of the Halifax County Board of Supervisors.