EHDA receives clean audit

Published 4:58 pm Wednesday, June 27, 2018

As the new fiscal year fixes to hit the region, Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency officials recently learned exciting news about the previous year’s budget.

EHDA Board of Commissioners recently met this week and learned the agency was able to receive rave reviews for its recent budgetary audit for the last budget cycle.

Kelly Geagley, executive director for EHDA, said the clean audit is a reflection of the staff and commissioners’ efforts for the agency.

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“That’s one of the more exciting things,” Geagley said about the audit. “Anytime you get those types of results back, it says a lot about the work everyone has put in. Since I’ve been here, I know we haven’t had a finding. That also goes back to when I wasn’t here, too. It’s a testament to everyone who goes out of their way to make sure we’re in a good position each fiscal year.”

During Tuesday’s meeting, staff also took time to recognize the Board for their work.

“It really is a thankless job,” Geagley said. “They’re appointed to a five-year term by City Council and meet once a month to vote on and discuss the different topics going on at housing. We wouldn’t be where we are at right now without their work, so we want to do what we can as a staff to say thank you.”

While it was a relatively cut-and-dry meeting for June, Geagley added the department is currently in the “wait-and-see” mentally when it comes to the implementation of a tax increment finance district.

The Board voted to approve the redevelopment and urban renewal plan for the Watauga River Development Area during May’s meeting, effectively giving the greenlight for Elizabethton and Carter County to implement their first tax increment financing district.

Geagley added the board is looking forward to working with the city and county in an effort to help facilitate economic development within the region.

“We’re just waiting for the state to OK the district,” Geagley said. “We’re ready to do our part.”

EHDA is the lead party for the plan that will take in applications for development in the TIF district. EHDA commissioners were able to hold a workshop with Jon Hartman, City Planning and Economic Development director, and legal representation last month before their vote to learn about the project.

The local TIF project passed during the March 2018 meeting by a 21-2-1 vote. City Council unanimously supported the project during their April meeting.

Individuals wanting to stay up to date with the activities and news at the agency can visit the Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency Facebook page.