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I attended the fiscal court meeting, on June 6, and the Taylorsville City Commission meeting, June 7. The funding of EDA was among the first items on the agenda at both.
At the Monday fiscal court meeting, the EDA executive director gave a presentation and then had her supporters express their support of her and the EDA.
After some discussion, the court voted not to fund the EDA and then they moved the $30,000 to the account to fund a consultant for the new planning and zoning laws.
They then voted to have a first reading for an ordinance to disband the EDA. Everything went very smoothly.
Then Tuesday night at the city commission meeting the EDA director gave a plea to fund the EDA and her supporters were present again but gave no comments.
After some discussion the commissioners voted not to fund the EDA by vote of 3 to 2 without any comments from her supporters. The commissioners did not move the money to another account. Then, John Shircliffe gave his report about the new park on Ky. 55 across from city hall; the report was tabled after some heated discussion.
At that point, Nathan Nation had to leave the meeting, and several of the audience left at that time.
The events detailed now are from someone that stayed at the meeting.
After an intermission, they revisited the funding of EDA, and at that point Annette’s supporters each gave a glowing account of the EDA.
They were not on the list to speak at the meeting but were allowed to speak by Mayor Don Pay. At that point, they voted 4 to 0 to re-fund the EDA and meet with the EDA board to decide what to do.
Am I the only one that sees something that stinks and looks like collusion at the city commissioners meeting?
Why did they vote not to fund the EDA with Nathan there and when he left then voted to re-fund it?
Nathan would be a supporter of a revamped EDA, but not as it is now.
Now the county is free of the EDA and it’s the city’s job to fund it. City residents, do you really think it is worth your tax dollars to fund an ineffective EDA?
It will cost the city at least $40,000 to $60,000 per year to fund the EDA. (Editor’s note: The city has currently said it is considering funding the EDA with $30,000 to see if it can operate on a part-time basis.)
I also found out the bylaws of the EDA state that the EDA can only bring business into the city limits or into an area that can be annexed into the city – that includes a business park or industrial park.
That’s just one reason the county does not need to support the EDA. From what I have read and discussed with Pay and Karrer, they both want an EDA in the county but not in the form it is currently.
Spencer County needs an effective EDA, but EDA by itself won’t work. There needs to be a very close relationship with EDA, tourism and the Chamber of Commerce. The best way is with a CEO in charge of all three. Each would have its own executive director to lead it with its board.
Spencer County has a serious issue with any real business or industrial development because we don’t have the infrastructure for it.
Several years ago I went to Washington County and talked to their EDA director. He said they have two class AAA roads, they have the Bluegrass Parkway close by, they have a railroad, they have an airport, they have natural gas, they have heavy industrial electric service and, most importantly, they have about a 150-acre industrial park with buildings and they sell an acre for $15,000 to $20,000. They also have a much larger budget of well over $100,000.
Spencer County has two class AAA roads, no natural gas, no rail line, no airport, we have the Snyder about 17 miles away on Hwy. 155 or the Bluegrass Parkway about 14 miles away on Ky. 55 and no heavy duty electric.
We do have an industrial park that is on the crest of a hill that slopes off on both sides so only a small portion is usable and the price per acre is $50,000 or more, take it or leave it.
We need to use what we have, and that is tourism, because we have Taylorsville Lake.
We need to exploit the lake. We need to get Edgewater under the county control and develop it ourselves. We need to put cabins at the lake to rent.
We need to get Taylorsville to a fourth class city so we can have the good restaurants that want to sell liquor by the drink and attract tourists and boaters. We need a bowling alley, we need a nice modern motel near the lake and other businesses that will follow them.
We need an EDA that is looking to get those things here. My list is longer but that’s enough for now.
Last but in no way least, is the Main Street Committee. Main Street should be completely under the authority of the city with no ties to the EDA, tourism or Chamber of Commerce by crossover employees or members of boards.
The reason I feel this way is because Main Street’s goal is to beautify Main Street to attract people and business. I would like to see us eventually beautify the rest of Taylorsville.
Have you driven the city streets very slowly and looked around? The city needs cleaning up along with private property. We have to improve the ranking of our school system and throwing money at it won’t help. This is a very big job, but if we expect to attract people and business it has to happen.
At some point, people have to be replaced and organizations have to be revamped to keep up with the times. It’s not easy to do and some feelings are hurt in the process, but it has to be done in the name of progress.
The alternative is more of the same with the same results. We can’t stand still and we can’t go back to what Taylorsville was in its heyday, and it did have one.
We are on the edge of great change, and we need to forge ahead. The economy is in the pits and we have to do what we can to survive and grow.
We need forward-looking people and progressive leaders. Not the same old, same old.