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Land deals discussed in executive session
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No major industries or industrial land developers have been recruited to Newton County since Baxter International in April 2012, but a handful of land deals are at least being discussed.

Newton County Industrial Development Authority members discussed four separate real-estate issues Tuesday in executive session, including three dispositions (the potential sale or transfer of land) and one potential purchase.

The executive session lasted just under an hour and the authority did not vote on any matters in open session.

In open session, the authority voted to put approximately $83,000 into the authority’s checking account or into a money market account (a type of savings account) after a certificate of deposit recently matured. The authority decided not to put the money into any short- or long-term investment because interest rates are so low and the authority might need the money for one of the real-estate deals being discussed, said Hunter Hall, an authority member and president of the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce.

The only other business was the authority’s appointing of officers for 2014, and there was only one change.

Danny Stone, Snapping Shoals EMC’s director of economic development, was reappointed chair of the authority, and local attorney Frank Turner Jr. was reappointed as the authority’s treasurer and secretary.

The only change was that County Chairman Keith Ellis was appointed vice chairman. The position typically rotates between the chairman and the Covington mayor, Turner said. Mayor Ronnie Johnston was previously vice chairman; he remained on the authority as a member.