The Campaign For DA


It's Your Money

I've never understood Economic Development Corporations which are nothing more than a governmental entity funded by sales tax that normally goes into the city coffers. Already this year, the Decatur EDC has received over $1 million of your money. Money that could be used to pave roads and improve a water system.

The curious thing about EDCs is that they give your money to private companies to entice them to "relocate", and I've yet to figure out the guidelines for their generosity. (The EDC in Bridgeport has been roundly criticized for its choice of monetary recipients.)

So why this mild rant?

Tomorrow the Messenger will run a story on page 9A that deserves to be above the fold. The first sentence will read, " The Decatur Economic Development board Tuesday approved an agreement whereby Twisted X Boot Company will refund $40,000 of a $150,000 grant given the company to locate in Decatur."

Uh, guess what? They didn't relocate here. The company ended up near Alliance Airport presumably either buying land or securing a lease with cash they got from, uh, can I say the EDC? Although the new agreement requires the company to keep its "executive offices" in Decatur for three years (that doesn't mean much - a desk and a phone would suffice, I suppose), I guess they still get to keep $110,000. And you know what else? The company was supposed to get $200,000 but the EDC hadn't paid the remaining $50,000 before they apparently figured out that something was wrong.

No one will raise a fuss because that's the way we are. But we should.