The Union Recorder


June 28, 2014

Consideration for the Dev. Authority should include all interested parties

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority board delayed plans for a move to the city’s Economic Development Center this week.

The development authority board is now proceeding with caution until terms of the potential move can be ironed out.

This comes after last month’s decision to move the development authority to the former Elks Lodge building on Hancock Street and have the authority leave the current office space on South Jefferson Street it shares with the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce.

Proceeding with caution is a sound decision at this point.

The development authority receives both city and county funding and any decision regarding a potential move must involve careful planning and communication with both governing bodies given the joint set up.

County officials have said they were not made aware in advance of last month’s vote and were not consulted, which didn’t bode well for the potential move and the outcome.

Any decision regarding a development authority move must be done in the best interest of the community long-term, and all parties — the city, county and the development authority board and the Chamber should be on the same page.

In addition to the joint city and county funding, the Development Authority shares the services of an employee with the Chamber of Commerce, a director of operations position that was created earlier this year. The details of that position in all likelihood would have been different had parties known the move to the Economic Development Center was going to take place.

How that joint position will be addressed with the move needs to also be discussed. There are also budgetary issues to consider in planning for the future. The city left the authority funding level the same in the upcoming fiscal year budget, and the development authority's current $16,200 rent payment and a $4,560 telephone tab are split with Baldwin County.

The city and county must get on the same page with this decision. Whether the development authority stays or goes is a decision that impacts the whole community both city and county and warrants careful consideration among all parties involved.





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