The Thomaston-Upson Industrial Development Authority (TUIDA) issued an inducement letter to Gordon Jensen Healthcare Association for a revenue bond of $9.5 million for the purchase and renovation of Providence Nursing Home during their April meeting. Prior to the approval of the letter, TUIDA Attorney Joel Bentley told the board that while this is not a typical industry they work with, it is a vital one to the community. With the company purchasing the nursing home, it is expected to preserve 90 jobs and create between 10-15 more, including positions for physical therapists.
Chix Miller, who is one of the lawyers for Gordon Jensen, stated part of the proceeds from the bond will go to renovating and stabilizing the nursing home which should help increase occupancy, therefore increasing the tax base for Upson County. Miller noted that currently the occupancy rate for the facility is 82 percent, but after renovations is predicted to be 100 percent. He also stated that the group who is purchasing the business is not asking for any sort of freebies from the TUIDA, such as tax abatement, land or any other special benefit; also the financing for the undertaking is based on a 30 year fixed rate, proving the entity is planning on being here for an extended period of time.
Bentley stated the only difference in these bonds and what is generally issued by the TUIDA, is that typically bonds are sold to a financial institution and these will be available to the public. However, the Gordon Jensen Healthcare Association has a retail client list that the bonds will be marketed to and will not be marketed to the Thomaston-Upson community unless requested specifically by an individual. Bentley also noted that language was put in the contract so that bidders did not think the bonds are backed by the City of Thomaston, Upson County or the TUIDA.
A motion was made by TUIDA member Frank King to approve the inducement letter due to the fact the bond will help to improve a facility that is needed in the community and will add jobs for the area. TUIDA member Scott Blackstock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.