Perryville promises $500 to gain voting seat on EDP

Published 10:18 am Saturday, December 9, 2017

Perryville will once again have a vote on the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership Board of Directors. The city voted to promise $500 in its next budget to the EDP, in exchange for the EDP making the city’s seat on its board a voting seat.

“I want to be really clear. The Economic Development Partnership board desires to have you fully at the table,” said interim EDP Chair Ben Nelson to the Perryville City Council Thursday night. “We think that matters … We think you understanding that making an investment in economic development in Boyle County is important.”

Nelson said he realized the bylaws of the EDP were changed to reorganize the board after Perryville set its budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018. With the EDP reorganization came the change in philosophy that voting members of the EDP board should be from groups that contribute financially to the EDP (with the exception of three at-large seats chosen by the appointed board members).

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“I understand that we threw you all a curve in your budget cycle. If you would be good enough as a council to say, ‘We’re good for it and we’ll plan for it in the next budget cycle,’ I would take forward to the board, on the basis of ya’ll saying, ‘OK, here’s a promissory note,’ that we go ahead and have you become a voting member,” Nelson said.

Perryville and Junction City were both voting members of the old EDP board, before there was a requirement to contribute financially.

The cost for Perryville to “play” is based on the city’s population as of the 2010 census; it’s set at $500, Nelson said.

The alternative, he said, is that the city could choose to not commit $500 in the next budget cycle and lose their seat as a voting member of the board; instead, they would have an advisory seat.

The reorganized EDP board first met in October. It’s made up of the following seats:

• three each appointed by the Boyle County Fiscal Court, the City of Danville and the Boyle County Industrial Foundation;

• three chosen by “Chairman’s Circle” private donors;

• three at-large members chosen by the other board members; and

• one apiece for Junction City and Perryville, if they contribute.

Nelson said Junction City has not yet “taken advantage of the partnership, which is unfortunate.”

Council member Paul Webb said he’s concerned because he doesn’t see where they will come up with $500.

“We want to work together — that’s the important thing. The more we work together, the better we’ll be,” Nelson said.

Council member Brian Caldwell said he felt it was important that the city have a voice and be able to vote on the issues of economic development.

Webb asked what the benefit was for the city.

Nelson shared that the salary for Vicki Goode, the director of Main Street Perryville, is paid for by the Economic Development Partnership.

“You wouldn’t have an executive director if it wasn’t a partnership,” he said. “We’ve been funding her salary for years now.”

Goode added that it had been about 10 years.

Nelson said the city has benefitted, but is now being asked to “engage more.”

“If we don’t know what you need, we can’t help you … Y’all are important. What you bring to the table as a community is immense. We want to help you,” he said.

Webb said he just wanted to make sure that Perryville remained unique and wasn’t “swept into the county.”

Council members also asked about the HarvestFest event that had been held in Danville the same weekend as the Perryville Commemoration in the city and the Battle of Perryville Commemoration weekend at the park.

HarvestFest, said City Attorney Winfield Frankel, drew vendors and visitors away.

“That’s Perryville’s weekend,” he said. “That weekend in October is Perryville’s weekend.”

“We’ve had that date for 155 years,” said Goode. She said that had already been discussed.

Nelson said they are working on a master calendar so the scheduling problem doesn’t happen again. HarvestFest, he said, had been moved to coincide with Centre College’s parents’ weekend, but said, “if it ended up having an adverse effect over here, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.”

Board members Caldwell, Webb, Steve Bailey and JoAnne Reynolds voted unanimously to approve committing the $500 in the next budget and gaining a voting seat on the EDP board. Board members Julie Clay and Jerry Houck were absent.