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EDC director lobbies for strategic plan

By Messenger Staff | Published Saturday, February 22, 2014

A long-range strategic plan for the Decatur Economic Development Corp. could be on the way soon. The EDC board Thursday approved a request from Director Mary Poche to seek proposals for such a study.

“The last time anything was done on a long-range strategy plan was in 2006,” Poche said. She estimated the cost of such a study at $25,000 to $50,000.

“I feel strongly about it,” she said. “It is something we should look at on a daily basis.”

Poche said the project, which could take three to six months to complete, would include a baseline plan with demographic data and a marketing plan. The consultants selected would travel to Decatur as part of their work.

The board approved a $20,520 grant to the Decatur Civic Center to replace a 17.5-ton air conditioning unit in the Great Hall of the Center. Civic Center Manager Lori Sherwood said the 12-year-old unit was no longer working and needed to be replaced before the summer.

Directors also approved an installment payment plan to H2X Inc. as work begins on its new facility in northeast Decatur. The EDC has pledged $200,000 to help with the project and has already paid $100,000 toward the grant.

Under the plan approved Thursday, the remaining $100,000 will be paid as construction on the long-delayed project continues. The board agreed to pay 25 percent when the foundation is complete, 25 percent when the metal building is complete, 25 percent when the electrical and paving is complete and the remainder when a certificate of occupancy is approved by the city.

City engineer Earl Smith said dirt for the foundation had been delivered to the site and electrical poles were being moved to make room for the building.

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