Friday, July 25, 2014

It’s unanimous: City, county on board with development council

By The Herald Staff | 12/9/2013

After a little more than a year on the job, the Franklin County Development Council’s leader and his plans for moving the group forward got a vote of support from the city and county.

Ottawa city commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the 2014 contract with the development council at their Wednesday meeting. The Franklin County Board of Commissioners also had approved its portion of the contract by unanimous vote earlier this month.

After a little more than a year on the job, the Franklin County Development Council’s leader and his plans for moving the group forward got a vote of support from the city and county.

Ottawa city commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the 2014 contract with the development council at their Wednesday meeting. The Franklin County Board of Commissioners also had approved its portion of the contract by unanimous vote earlier this month.

The agreement lists several key services the development council is expected to provide to the county and City of Ottawa, such as retention and expansion programs for existing businesses, actively recruiting new businesses and serving as guide and adviser to the county and city on economic development matters, Jeff Seymour, Franklin County Development Council executive director, said.

In addition, the development council is expected to provide the city and county with monthly electronic reports, as well as quarterly verbal reports on the activity of the group.

The county and city each will pay the development council $60,000 for its services. The contract also includes a clause in which the group agrees that “no less than 10 percent of the yearly contributions from the county and city be contributed to an economic development “project fund.”

The project fund will be used as a tool to fund non-operational economic development projects, Seymour said in a previous interview. Project funds might include incentive funding, land acquisition or other projects required to meet the economic development goals of the organization, Seymour said.

The agreement also stipulates that “annual contributions to this fund shall be delineated as a line item in the development council annual budget and any remaining balances of the fund at the end of the year may be carried over to accumulate a larger balance in the fund.”

The $60,000 contributions from the city and from the county remain the same as last year’s contract, Seymour said.

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