EDP working with Main Street programs for funding requests

Published 8:35 am Tuesday, February 13, 2018

With the reorganization of the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership last year, two local agencies that have traditionally received their annual funding through the EDP are now planning their own budget requests to present to city and county governments this spring.

Because of the recent restructuring of the EDP Board of Directors, the Main Street Perryville and Heart of Danville (HOD) Main Street programs were two of the four partners turned into non-voting members of the organization.

During its regular meeting in January, EPD Chairman Ben Nelson said he had heard concerns that the Heart of Danville and Main Street Perryville “would be on their own” when requesting funding from the city and county governments. 

Email newsletter signup

But that’s not the case, he said.

Nelson said EDP executive committee officers Jody Lassiter and Hal Goode have met with HOD Chair Logan Germann and Executive Director Nick Wade; and Main Street Perryville Chair Robby Mayes and Executive Director Vicki Goode and are helping to determine “how best to coordinate our budget planning as it has been speculated they would be expected or need to submit funding requests to the public partners independent of the EDP’s request this upcoming budget cycle.”

“We are trying to coordinate and support them through that process as the City of Danville funding requests are due in early March,” Nelson said.

For the upcoming budget planning, “The Main Street programs will decide what amount and who they will request funding from this year,” Nelson said.

In the past, the EDP has funded the Heart of Danville with $110,000 annually, and Main Street Perryville has received $37,500 every year. Those amounts are “a flow through from the partners’ investments in the partnership’s work,” Nelson said.

The EDP receives a majority of its funding from Danville and Boyle County. Danville is contributing a base amount of $145,000 and at least $35,000 additional funds for a total of $180,000 this year; Boyle County Fiscal Court is contributing $110,000. The EDP must request funding from the two governments each year, along with other agencies such as Planning and Zoning and Parks and Recreation.

“The next fiscal year partnership draft budget is still under development and has not yet been reviewed by the EDP Board,” Nelson said. “We are a nine-organization partnership and we should synchronize our budget planning so that we understand what each other are doing.”

Wade said HOD is currently preparing its next fiscal year budget.

In a recent email he wrote, “While the recently completed Economic Development Strategic Plan removed the Heart of Danville as a voting member of the EDP Board, we are still a vital part of the organization. As the EDP and the Heart of Danville request funding from the local governments, we want to present a unified presence to show that we are still a team.”

Nelson said they are hoping not to see any organization’s funding reduced from previous years. “While our local governments have many financial pressures, their continued investments in economic development and vibrant downtowns are very important to our community’s quality of life and economic well-being,” Nelson said. “The long term ROI (return on investment) on those investments actually help our local governments meet their obligations to support our community.”

Nelson said the Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Danville/Boyle County Chamber of Commerce were also made non-voting members as advisory partners on the EDP. However, they don’t rely on “pass-through” funding from the EDP.

The CVB is mostly funded by revenue collected from the county’s transient room tax and the chamber functions mostly on its membership dues and fundraisers.