CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Economic Development Authority's total liabilities decreased by nearly $25 million in a year's time, which means more money is available for new business projects in the state, the group's executive director said Thursday.
More businesses are paying off their loans sooner, said David Warner.
"It makes [money] available for other projects, which is good [because there is] more for the next project that we can get started on and ... expand," Warner said.
The EDA is financially clean and received the "best report that could be given," said Joellen Lucas, audit manager at Suttle & Stalnaker, the authority's auditing firm.
The annual audit examined financials from June 2011 to June 2012.
The EDA's total net assets increased by $3.5 million to $133 million, or almost 3 percent, last fiscal year, according to the audit.
Total operating revenues were $10.2 million, a 4.56 percent decrease. Operating expenses increased 8.64 percent to $5.2 million.
The authority had $1 million in uncollectible loans. The repayment of a $5.2 million loan for improvements at Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park is being recognized as a loss, Warner said. The EDA is writing off a $1 million loan insurance commitment the authority made on the $4.2 million loan, he said.
The bonds for the Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park project continue to be in payment default since April 2006, according to the audit. For the last three years, the EDA has "written down that loan" in $1 million increments to the state Division of Natural Resources, Warner said. The loan has been reduced by $3 million at this point, he said.
In other business Thursday, the authority:
• Gave preliminary approval for a $3.7 million loan to IMI Fabi to buy new equipment in the Benwood facility. IMI Fabi, a producer of milled talc used in the polymer, paper, paint, agriculture, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, is expanding in Marshall County. The project will create nine jobs in the next three years, according to the EDA.
• Gave preliminary approval to Taylor Warehouse Services for a $2 million loan to buy the former Fourco Glass, and also AFG Industries glass plant, in Taylor County. Taylor Warehouse Services will develop a multi-tenant warehouse and distribution center to rent out to interested companies. The project will create 24 jobs in the next three years, according to the EDA.
• Preston Machine received preliminary approval for a $450,000 loan to purchase new equipment. The Kingwood facility does metal fabrication, machine design and is a rebuild shop for the coal, timber, heavy equipment and water-treatment industries. Twelve jobs will be created in the next three years.
• Finally, EDA members gave preliminary approval for a $910,000 loan to Putnam Holding to expand and finance real estate. Appalachian Railcar Services, formed in February 2000 to provide railcar services in Winifrede, created Putnam Holding as a real estate holding company. The project will create 20 jobs for Appalachian Railcar Services in the next three years, according to the EDA.Reach Megan Workman at megan.work...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.