Ivy Herron photo
Clay County Economic Development Organization is in need of funding from the county and the City of Brazil.
That was the message CCEDO President Jeff Stewart gave the Clay County Redevelopment Commission Tuesday night at the courthouse.
The County Council budgeted $8,000 for the Redevelopment Commission to use to sell Clay County to companies willing to move or expand operations here. That money is in the 2005 budget, which has not yet been approved by the State of Indiana. Approval is expected within the next month.
Stewart asked the $8,000 be given to CCEDO.
"I feel CCEDO should be the marketing arm of Clay County," he said. " I respectfully request the Redevelopment Commission give $8,000 to CCEDO for marketing."
When informed the Redevelopment Commission did not have the $8,000 at hand to distribute, but had to request distribution from the County Commissioners, Stewart said, "OK, I respectfully request the Redevelopment Commissioner recommend CCEDO be given the $8,000."
Stewart said the county has not funded CCEDO for the past three years. After the meeting he said CCEDO had not asked for funding from the county.
He told Redevelopment Commissioners it is becoming increasingly difficult to raise private funds because companies want to see the county and city endorse CCEDO's efforts by granting money to the cause.
Stewart said changes are coming to CCEDO.
The group has applied for a matching grant.
Executive Director Gordon Ayer will retire in June.
"Gordon has done a good job with what we have asked him to do," Stewart said.
The next step is to get a director who will aggressively find prospects for the county, "but first, we need to solve financial issues."
Pointing to past successes, Stewart said, "Without CCEDO, this county would not have IVC (Industrial Coatings)."
A national chain has also approached CCEDO about opening a restaurant at I-70. He would not specify the name of the chain but The Brazil Times has learned Wendy's has inquired about building a new store in that area.
After the meeting, Stewart declined to comment about rumors that lack of funding forced the CCEDO office to close for the month of January.
Stewart would like to see the city and county add members to the CCEDO board.
"We want someone from your board to be assigned to our board, to aid communication," Stewart said.
Redevelopment Commission President Rob Moore responded to Stewart's request.
"I hate to put you off a month, but we need to make sure the money is there," Moore said.
The request is to be put on the Redevelopment Commission's February meeting agenda.