Private EDP funders commit to increased funding

Published 7:00 pm Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership is asking for more money from all of its major funders for next fiscal year. Some of the private  “Chairman’s Circle” investors in the EDP have already agreed to up their antes.

The EDP’s three “platinum-level” contributors — Farmers National Bank, Centre College and Ephraim McDowell Health — have all agreed to increase their funding from $25,000 to $30,000 apiece for 2019-20, EDP Chair Ben Nelson said.

In addition, a “bronze-level” contributor, Community Trust Bank, plans to double its investment from $2,500 to $5,000, said David Maynard, the Danville Market president for the bank.

Email newsletter signup

Those increased investments total $17,500, which is larger than the additional $15,000 the EDP had planned to seek in its draft budget. However, in order to achieve an increase in total Chairman’s Circle donations from $138,000 this year to $153,000 next year, the EDP must still acquire recommitments from existing contributors and/or find new ones.

Besides the four who have already announced their plans to give, there are 15 other contributors the EDP is planning to contact and ask for a renewal, according to a spreadsheet from Mary Beth Touchstone, who has been hired by the EDP to fundraise for next fiscal year. Those current donors and their current contribution levels are Inter-County Energy ($10,000 and $5,000), Central Kentucky Federal Savings Bank ($7,500), AT&T ($5,000), Denham-Blythe Construction ($5,000), Atmos Energy ($3,000), The Allen Company ($2,500), Branscum Construction ($2,500), Caldwell Stone ($2,500), Central Seal ($2,500), Danville Office Equipment ($2,500), The Malcolm Bryant Corporation ($2,500), Prodigy Construction ($2,500) and Stuart Powell Ford-Lincoln-Mazda ($2,500).

In the current budget year, the $138,000 given by Chairman’s Circle donors represents the largest revenue line item for the EDP. The Boyle County Industrial Foundation is contributing $90,000; the City of Danville is contributing $72,500; Boyle County Fiscal Court is contributing $70,000; Junction City is contributing $1,500; and the City of Perryville is contributing $500.

The draft 2019-20 budget asks Danville and Boyle County to both grow their investments to $150,000; and asks the Industrial Foundation to increase its contribution to $100,000, increasing total revenue from about $393,000 to about $575,000.

This year, Chairman’s Circle donors provide about 35 percent of the EDP’s funding; under the draft budget, they would represent about 26.5 percent of the total funding.

Other stats

Nelson distributed a fact sheet about the EDP’s work from 2008 until now during Wednesday’s board meeting.

Leading off the fact sheet was a statement that the EDP has “worked together with both new and existing businesses in the industrial sector to make a net cumulative total of $297,458,567 in capital investment and a net creation of 1,463 jobs to grow our local economy.”

EDP President and CEO Jody Lassiter was asked to explain the discrepancy between that statement’s claim about “net creation of jobs” and the county’s total employment figures, which show the total jobs in Boyle County have ticked up recently to 14,079, but that still lags behind total jobs of 14,149 10 years earlier.

“We have been filling a leaky bucket since 2008,” Lassiter said, explaining that the 2008 recession and the ongoing growth of automation, which reduces the number of jobs available, have been negative factors.

“If we did not have the 1,463 jobs that were created during the last 11 years and the investment of $300 million or so, where would we be?” Lassiter asked. “… The job is challenging and it’s one which we need to continue to double down upon to return to pre-2008 levels and exceed them.”

Nelson’s fact sheet breaks down where the 1,463 jobs came from in several ways:

• Expansion projects totaled $182.7 million in investment and created 1,234 new jobs; new businesses brought $202.7 million in investments and created 503 jobs; retention projects (preventing possible job losses) involved about $3 million in investments and saved 45 jobs.

• Jobs created or saved by year are: 2008 — 106 jobs; 2009 — 76 jobs; 2010 — 165 jobs; 2011 — 232 jobs; 2012 — 84 jobs; 2013 — 186 jobs; 2014 — 192 jobs; 2015 — 402 jobs; 2016 — 41 jobs; 2017 — 204 jobs; 2018 — 94 jobs.

The fact sheet also shows the level of direct investment in the EDP efforts by its two biggest public funders, the City of Danville and Boyle County Fiscal Court.

Since 2009, Boyle County has contributed $886,338 and Danville has contributed $267,500, according to the sheet. Those totals exclude any “pass-through” funds the governments gave to the EDP to be passed on to the main street organizations Heart of Danville and Main Street Perryville.

Together, the city and county have contributed about $1.15 million over 11 years directly to the EDP’s core functions. The EDP’s total revenues over that same 11-year period are just over $6 million.