By ABBEY KUNKLE
Special to the PRESS
February 19, 2015
The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) met Tuesday morning for their regular meeting. A major focus during the meeting was the discussion of allocation of the excess reserves in the amount of $199,597.
Because of discussion during a recent workshop, first up for consideration was the Fund Balance that requires a six month reserve and is currently in excess of near $200,000. The committee considered the option to change the required hold amount to just three months’ reserves or another amount approved by the board, but ultimately, board member Joe Townsend recommended the current requirement for a six month reserve be kept as is.
Moving forward, the board considered options for spending those excess reserves and discussed the creation of a Facility Maintenance Fund for the Birding and Nature Center Facility. Townsend brought up the large cost associated with the Convention Centre Renovation and did not want to get into a similar situation with a lack of maintenance at the Birding and Nature Center. The consensus by the board was to create a line item in the budget in the amount of $50,000 for a building maintenance repair fund and to follow City procedure with approval of spending for that maintenance based on the City standards. Townsend said, “I think it’s really important to have some continuity with what the City does and what we do.” After allocating $50,000 from the reserves, the remaining $149,597 was transferred to the line item marked Other Projects along with $34,000 that was already available. The board had not yet identified projects or events for the funds, but Chairman Joanne Williams said, “Other Projects is always a category that we do a lot of thoughtful consideration in.”
The EDC recently held a strategic planning workshop where they discussed projects of top priority in the city. After tabulating survey results from the workshop, coming in first were sidewalks, bike trails, and beautification of the Island in general. The board plans to hold another workshop after the regular meeting scheduled for April 14 to further refine the projects and decide which can be done with the funds that are available. Williams added, “Part of the workshop is to get a broader perspective and more input from the community.” Some projects to be considered include general beautification, event funding, and bathrooms on the beach.
The board also made a revision to bylaws section 4.01 which combines the positions of secretary and treasurer into one. The committee moved on to the election of officers, and elected Townsend to fill the new position as secretary-treasurer. Williams was re-elected as chair, and Dan Stanton was elected to serve as vice chair. Finally, the board moved to form three working sub-committees: the Executive Committee, another to work on Designated Projects and a third for Business Development and Retention. Work done by the subcommittees will be presented to the EDC for approval.
The regular meeting scheduled in March has been cancelled due to Spring Break activities.
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