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IDA faces a boat mold problem
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The Effingham Industrial Development Authority is trying to figure out how to get rid of a mold problem — all 54 feet of it.

A boat mold from the defunct Savannah Yacht Company remains in the Effingham Industrial Park, even though the company has long been shuttered and its former building has been sold to the Effingham County Board of Education.

The IDA has sent letters asking for the boat mold to be removed, and three deadlines have passed, according to IDA CEO John Henry. Henry said the boat mold is abandoned and former IDA attorney Marvin Fentress had been in touch with its owners. Fentress also suggested asking the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office to intervene.

It is noticeable as the IDA brings potential industries to see its Governor Treutlen tract.

“I’ve shown the property to three prospects, and there are always questions about the boat mold,” Henry said. “It’s not going to be cheap to remove it in one piece.”

To break up the boat mold and put it in a container to take to the landfill could cost from $2,500 to $3,000, Henry added. To move it in one piece on a trailer could cost up to $30,000, because of the need to move power lines.

BB&T, which owned the Savannah Yacht building after the business closed, doesn’t own the boat mold and neither does the school board, IDA Chairman Dennis Webb said.

The IDA also has approved retaining Ted Carellas as the board’s attorney. Fentress, who had been with the Savannah firm Gray, Pannell and Woodward, took a position as chief legal counsel for a Salt Lake City-based financial services firm.

“Ted, I think, will be a good attorney to get along with,” Webb said.

Though Carellas doesn’t have much bond experience, Webb pointed out the IDA hires bond counsel anyway when they go to issue bonds.

Webb also praised Fentress for his service and his responsiveness to the IDA’s needs.

“With Marvin, I have felt free to call him and have a discussion with him,” he said.

Henry said there are outstanding issues for which the IDA needs legal counsel. The contract calls for the IDA attorney to be paid $60,000 annually.