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Lowndes discusses development

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal


HAYNEVILLE — The Lowndes County Commission voted Monday to implement an economic development project with both Montgomery County and the city of Montgomery and to ask Lowndes County Economic Developer Gene Crum to get information regarding the rental income from the Hayneville Plaza building.

The building was purchased by Lowndes County for use by the South Central Alabama Broadband Commission.

The commission took the actions after going into executive session twice in the same meeting.

The commission first went to executive session with Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean, Montgomery Economic Developer Ellen McNair, Hollie Pegg of the Alabama Development Office and Crum.

The commission later voted unanimously that Lowndes County Commission Chairman Charlie King Jr. and Lowndes County Industrial Development Board Chairman LaRue Pringle “be authorized to work to implement an economic development project with Montgomery County and Montgomery city and that they have the consultant Gene Crum as a consultant.”

Also following an executive session, the commission voted unanimously to have Crum gather information about Hayneville Plaza rentals, how they were applied toward the appraisal of the building, if the appraisal of the building was based on the rental income, what it was when it was purchased and what it is now.

Commissioner Dickson Farrior said when the county bought the building for use by the South Central Alabama Broadband Commission, it was told the building generated a certain amount of money, “and it’s not generating that amount of money.”

“It was presented the rental income would be used to pay the payments on the building but the rental incomes are not what was talked about or projected so far,” Farrior said, adding he wants to know why there is a “difference in what we were told and what is coming in.”

In June, the commission approved a $3.5 million bond issue to purchase the Hayneville Plaza building, with designs to use it as a hub center for the South Central Alabama Broadband Commission (SCABC). Farrior and commissioner Joseph Barganier voted against the measure.

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