Kenton Rotary Hears About KOPA

Written by on February 7, 2023

Jacqualine Fitzgerald and Jerry Pfister

Kenton Rotary Club heard from two board members from the newly formed Kenton Ohio Port Authority. 

Jacqualine Fitzgerald and Jerry Pfister are two of seven uncompensated board members that serve at the pleasure of Kenton City Council.  

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Kenton Rotary Club welcomed Jacqualine Fitzgerald and Jerry Pfister, board members from the newly formed Kenton Ohio Port Authority (KOPA).

They serve as two, of a seven member uncompensated board that exist at the pleasure of Kenton City Council.

Jerry spoke about the history of port authorities in Ohio and how most people think they are only for city with water access.

In the 70’s port authorities’ roles expanded to be more involved in economic development programs and now port authorities are not required to be next to a body of water. In fact, most port authorities in Ohio are not bordered by navigable bodies of water at all.

A port authority can be used to pass savings on to economic development projects through its tax-exempt status. A community can use it to attract and retain jobs through the purchase or sale of properties and assistance with economic development incentive programs.

Port authorities can issue bonds, make loans, and sell or buy real and personal property to help facilitate economic development projects.

Another option is to use synthetic leases, which are off-balance sheet transactions whereby companies lease assets, including buildings or equipment, from the port authority.

Companies can improve the appearance of their balance sheet because the financing will not be reflected as a debt of the company, but simply as an operating lease.

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