The Union Recorder: Jul 3, 2019

The future of Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority continues looking bright, as new projects are blossoming on the campus.

Among those projects is the Georgia International Food Center.

The closing on a $10 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture was tentatively set to take place last Thursday, according to Mike Couch, executive director of CSHLRA.

“The only piece we’ll be missing is that the equity line of $1.2 million was coming from Food Service Partners to Byline Bank,” Couch said. “We know that was wired to Food Service Partners from their bank.”

Couch said it was his plan to be at the office of Waddell and Associates when the closing of the kitchen USDA loan happened.

“That’s one leg of the stool, but it doesn’t include the Small Business Association (SBA), but the equity for the SBA loan is already at Byline Bank for $750,000,” Couch said.

He praised the services of Joe Wright, saying he had done an outstanding job when it comes to construction management and his involvement with construction contracts on the kitchen project.

“It’s been a long run, but I appreciate the support of the board,” Couch said.

He asked board members to adopt a resolution to authorize him to close on the $10 million deal with the USDA.

CSHLRA chairwoman Quay Fuller called for a vote and board members unanimously adopted the resolution. Those participating in the vote included Fuller, Russ Walden, Bruce Vaughn, Johnny Grant, Owen Pittman, Dr. George Martinez, Dr. John Ferguson and Dr. Nolan Stephens. Two members were absent from the meeting, vice chairman Dudley Rowe and Dr. Joy Nelson.

“I want to thank the board for that,” Couch said. “It’s been four years running. And Joe, thanks for all you’ve done.”

Fuller also publicly thanked Wright for his expertise on the project.

“Just as a side note, we talked about it a little bit,” Couch said. “We do have local contracting involved. Dyer [Construction] will be the local general contractor working as a subcontractor for cold storage manufacturing.”

Couch said he and board members wanted to keep as many local folks as possible involved in this project as well as future projects on the campus of Central State Hospital.

Earlier last Wednesday, Couch, along with some of the CSHLRA board members met at Bostick CorrectLife, LLC, which also is located on the campus of CSH.

Couch said the board had received a request from Dr. Carlo Musso to move forward with Bostick 2, the next phase of the project.

“This is a letter of intent,” Couch said. “It’s not binding on us and on him.”

Musso predicts that he will need another 150 beds within two years, Couch said.

“He’s committed to us that if you will work with him that he will build that facility on the campus,” Couch said. “He needs something — an indication from us that we support it, locally. I would highly recommend that you approve this.”

Couch shared with board members a tentative site plan.

“The second building would be 150 beds versus 280 beds where he is right now,” Couch said. “It would be about 70,000 square feet. It would not have the, as I call it, the administrative front side of the building and then the administrative mall bed zoning. The site that we’ve looked at is directly across the street (from the main building).”

Couch pointed out the need for Musso to submit a certificate of need to the state by Aug. 1.

“We support Dr. Musso,” Couch said, noting he wished to have the support of the board for him to sign the letter of intent.

Board members voted unanimously to support that project, too.

“His (Musso) track record demonstrates that he certainly is committed to doing this,” Walden said.

Milledgeville City Alderwoman Jeanette Walden asked what the original acreage was when Musso built the original facility.

“It was 16 acres for $50,000,” Couch said.

Pittman asked if there would be any administration in the new building.

“He’ll use the existing building for that, right,” Pittman asked.

Couch responded that there would likely be minimal administrative office space.

“I’m sure he’ll have a minimal administration place where he can take care of physical therapy, counseling, a barber shop, eatery, etc. in his main building,” Couch said.

Dr. John Ferguson, who serves as finance committee chairman of the CSHLRA board, provided members with a budget report during the first portion of the meeting.

The balance sheet puts total assets there at $562,438, Ferguson said.

“We’ve got some indebtedness, which brings us down to $485,000 total,” Ferguson said, noting that CHSLRA has a current indebtedness of $71,000 to the city of Milledgeville.

He explained that the board was going to try to keep that amount of money for a while “just in case we have some setbacks with our kitchen project.”

Ferguson was referring to the Georgia International Food Center project, which will be operated by Food Service Partners in the near future in the Bobby Parham Kitchen.

He also shared the group’s profit and loss figures.

“You’ll see that we had a net income for the month of May of $174,000 and for the year $283,948, which is very satisfactory,” Ferguson said. “We feel like we’re online there. When we look at the profit-loss budget and actual, we see that we’ve got incomes from several different carriers. For the year, though, the budget was for $243,000; we’ve got $238,000. We do probably have a little bit more coming in this month, which will probably at least put us on budget.”

author avatar
Erin Andrews