Fiscal Court rejoins Economic Development Corporation, appoints representation
Published 2:56 pm Monday, September 26, 2022
The Fiscal Court voted to rejoin the organization formerly known as the Economic Development Partnership, now called the Danville Boyle County Development Corporation, at their meeting on Sept. 13. The vote was unanimous.
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Before the organization passed its new bylaws in August, the Fiscal Court had withdrawn from EDP. Magistrates had increasingly expressed concerns with EDP’s performance, and requested along with Danville that EDP change its structure.
Despite the EDP changing its structure and decreasing its number of board members from 17 to nine, some magistrates were still hesitant about rejoining. At the previous court meeting, magistrates discussed rejoining.
Magistrate Jason Cullen was the most critical and hesitant about rejoining; but several magistrates expressed that they should work together and be on board with the new organization, rather than try other economic development efforts on their own. Magistrate Tom Ellis was not at the previous meeting, and the court decided to wait for him to have a vote.
Ellis is the only magistrate who had served on the EDP board and the bylaws committee that was working to make the transition. He said he’s been very critical of EDP in recent years, and that they need to be critical moving forward.
“People are saying ‘don’t look backward’ but I think we have to, because we’re going to be committing a very significant amount of taxpayer dollars to the continuance of the concept of economic development, but prayerfully, in an entirely new fashion that will be accrued to the benefit of the public,” Ellis said.
In past years the county has contributed up to $200,000 annually to the EDP. There has been no statement about how much will be contributed going forward.
“After a lot of time, a lot of discussion, we are making every effort to bring the effort of economic development to improve the quality of life of Boyle County,” Magistrate John Caywood said. “Things are not the same as they were 12 to 15 years ago when all of this started, and now I think we’re bringing this up to date, and the nice thing is we’re going to review it in two years and see where we need to tweak it, and I think that’s a critical part of this.”
After voting to join, the court needed to choose a magistrate representative for the board. The court gets two representatives, the judge executive and a magistrate.
Ellis nominated Cullen because he said he’s been the most tenacious in expressing concerns about taxpayer dollars.
“We should nominate Magistrate Cullen to move forward with an eye for performance, and most of all, the best use of our taxpayer dollars,” Ellis said.
Magistrates voted unanimously to appoint Cullen, who confirmed that he is up to the task.
“Cullen’s business experience will prove to be a great benefit to our community,” Ellis said.
The DBCDC board would have only had seven members instead of nine if the Fiscal Court did not rejoin. Interim Director Terry Crowley said they can really get going on the board transition now that they know the county is joining.
“This is a new chapter,” Crowley said. “This is a starting point because we now know what the board structure looks like and the actual transition work begins.”
In other business, the court:
• Approved a temporary promotion for Mariah King, who has been filling in as Judge Executive Howard Hunt’s executive assistant. Executive Assistant Missy Galloway has been on medical leave. Hunt said he learned that she’s not coming back, and they are looking for a permanent replacement.
“I know that this court, and their love and affection for Missy, would like to express their appreciation for all she’s done,” Hunt said.
• Heard a presentation from CJ May Development, an advising firm, about the possible new retail development on the Danville bypass next to Lowe’s. The development would have several stores, restaurants, and a 100-room hotel. The City of Danville has expressed intent to issue industrial revenue bonds for the project. Magistrates expressed their support of the possible project after the presentation. To learn more, read articles on amnews.com titled “Danville discusses retail development plan on bypass, utility projects, noise ordinance” and “Danville commission passes intent to issue bonds for retail development.”
• Approved the new Waste Management five-year plan, presented by Environmental Services Director Angie Muncy.