The Downtown Waycross Development Authority (DWDA) was created by an act of the Georgia Legislature as an instrumentality of the State and Public Corporation in 1974-75. The establishment of Independent Authorities has long been recognized as a useful tool for developing and managing public interest ventures. An authority can act in a manner similar to private enterprise promoting efficiency and flexibility without the political constraints which often affect government agencies.
There seems, at times, to be a perception that the DWDA is another of the competing government entities pushing for hegemony which should be left to its own devices, at best, and ignored or defeated, at worst.
The DWDA exists for the public good, to resuscitate the crippled "heart" of our community.
THE ENACTING LEGISLATION READS:
"The purpose of the Authority is the development of the downtown Waycross area, which includes but is not limited to renovation and rehabilitation of existing buildings, structures, and improvements located in the downtown Waycross district, all for any commercial, business, office, public, or other use determined by a majority of the members of the Authority to further the redevelopment of the Waycross area. The purpose of the Authority is hereby declared to be an essential and public purpose, promoting the public good and welfare and benefiting the citizens. . ."
WHAT CAN THE DWDA DO?
"To acquire by purchase, lease, or otherwise and to hold, lease and dispose of real and personal property of every kind and character, or any interest therein, in furtherance of the public purpose of the Authority; to finance (by loan, grant, lease, or otherwise), construct, erect, assemble, purchase, acquire, own, repair, remodel, renovate, rehabilitate, modify, maintain, extend, improve, install, sell, equip, expand, add to, operate, or manage projects and to pay the cost of any project from proceeds of revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations of the Authority or any other funds of the Authority, or from any contributions or loans by person, corporations, partnerships, (limited or general) or other entities, all of which the Authority is hereby authorized to receive and accept and use. . ."
WHO ARE THE BOARD MEMBERS OF THE DWDA?
"The Authority shall be composed of eight members to be appointed and elected as hereinafter provided. One member shall be appointed by the City Commission of the City of Waycross from its membership. One member shall be appointed by the Ware County Board of Commissioners from its membership. Three members of the Authority shall be elected by the owners of the property which is subject to the tax provided for in Section 4 hereof. The three remaining members of the Authority shall be elected by owners of business establishments with a place of doing business located within the Downtown Waycross District. . ."
DWDA Board Members 2018-2019:
Kathryn Taylor (Chair), Jack Lott (Vice Chair), Chris Brown (Treasurer), Danny Yarbrough, Steve Howell, Greg Smith, Commissioner Jerry Pope (Ware County), Mayor John Knox (City of Waycross). J.Edward Cady, Jr. | Executive Director, Kayla Braswell ( Executive Assistant).