NEWS HEADLINES

EDC board to talk to finalists

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, September 21, 2013

After hearing encouraging reports on the financial status of the EDC and the Civic Center, the Decatur Economic Development Corporation’s board of directors moved on to tougher issues Thursday.

Two topics were discussed behind closed doors: a real estate purchase that has been in the works for several weeks, and efforts to hire a new EDC director after the departure of Jody Adams earlier this month.

Coming out of executive session, the board opted to discontinue negotiations on the land purchase.

They also scheduled a noon meeting on Friday, Sept. 27 to interview finalists for the director position. If all three candidates cannot make Friday’s meeting, they will meet again the following Tuesday, Oct. 1, to continue the process.

In between the financial reports and the executive session, the board also heard a presentation from Stephanie Quarles, principal of Carson Elementary, who requested continued EDC support for the Chisholm Trail Steak Challenge which is scheduled Sept. 29 at the Reunion Grounds.

The event is a competition among teams to see who can cook the best steak. After the judging is completed, visitors can purchase a ticket and select which team they want to prepare their steak.

A 5K “Steak Break” run at 10:30 a.m. will be sponsored by the Decatur Lions Club. The grounds open at 10 and the event continues through 7 p.m.

The EDC board voted unanimously to continue its sponsorship of the event at the $1,000 level.

FINANCES LOOK STRONG

In the absence of an executive director, Decatur City Manager Brett Shannon gave a report on the EDC’s finances.

With a certificate of deposit totalling $948,186 and $960,764 in its operating account, the finances look pretty good. The EDC picked up another $107,879 in August to bring its receipts from the half-cent sales tax to $1,348,108 for fiscal 2013.

“You had budgeted $1.2 million for receipts, and the fiscal year-end total was $1,348,108,” he said. “So your income was $148,108 over budget.

“It’s a good sign,” he said. “The economy, hopefully, is rebounding a little bit.”

At the Decatur Civic Center, total receipts for the fiscal year were $563,774 while total expenditures came to $886,908. Shannon said at that figure, the facility is covering 64 percent of its expenses. He expects that to be 65 percent when final numbers have been tallied.

He said that level of business is encouraging.

“When times get tough, a lot of that discretionary stuff goes away, so it’s nice to see that revenue is holding steady at the Civic Center,” he said.

The EDC is an entity of the city, formed in 1993 and funded by a half-cent sales tax for the purpose of promoting economic growth, assisting companies with infrastructure, training, and other items important to industry.

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