City Council Finalizes Appointments to Economic Development Foundation


Published on September 17 2013 8:35 pm
Last Updated on September 18 2013 8:25 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Months after the proposal was first presented, the Effingham City Council Tuesday appointed two members to the Effingham County Economic Development Foundation.

Council members voted unanimously to appoint City Administrator Jim Arndt and City Economic Development Director Todd Hull to represent the City on the Foundation, which hopes to help spur additional development in the county.

There was some sentiment among Commissioners Matt Hirtzel and Brian Milleville to have a member of the Council appointed to the Foundation Board, but both said they wanted the process to move ahead and had no objection to Arndt or Hull.  The City will make a financial contribution to the Foundation, but Mayor Merv Gillenwater asked for a provision that the City monies would go for efforts that result in direct benefits to the City of Effingham.

Council members approved an escrow agreement that utilizes TIF state sales tax funds to pay off a general obligation waterworks refunding bond.  The funds will pay the principal and interest payments for 2013, 2014 and 2015, although Arndt said the City might hold back if the Federal debt ceiling is raised, which could impact interest rates.  The City owes over $684,000 on the bond.

Also Tuesday, the Council:

--vacated right-of-way parallel to 3rd Street, 4th Street, Washington Avenue and Jefferson Avenue around the old Courthouse to the County, which can let the Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum Association have access to the land.  The City did retain rights to hold City-sponsored events on the property

--agreed to take sealed bids on a fire engine soon to be replaced.  There will be a minimum bid of $35,000 needed to purchase the engine

--agreed to temporarily close Evergreen Avenue from Outer Belt West to the entrance to Heartland Peterbilt to conduct training for the fire department from 7am to 6pm on Saturday, October 12

--purchased two pumps for $42,000 to replace leaking units at the Water Treatment Plant

--purchased four generators as alternate emergency power for lift stations for close to $119,000

--accepted a proposal for sewer rehabilitation in the Central TIF District for close to $373,000

--discussed lining manholes in the Central TIF District worth $193,000 with a vote on the work at the next Council meeting

--heard thanks from Hirtzel and Commissioner Alan Harris, who both helped with the search, for the many volunteers who helped in the search for Willow Long

--heard from Milleville who thanked City Tourism Director Jodi Jackson for getting things ready for the Corvette Funfest welcome event in downtown Effingham this Thursday night from 5-8pm.  Up to 500 Corvettes are expected at the event