Whatever happened to city council’s “Non-Reverting Fund for Economic Development Organizations”?

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Jeeebus, it’s been almost five years since the time I asked for this information.

Ordinance G-08-45: Ordinance Establishing Funding for Various Economic Development Organizations.

I mentioned this ordinance last week, and must concede I was completely wrong about the date of its enactment. The bill was signed on December 22, 2008. What isn’t clear is whether One Southern Indiana already has drained the fund dry to fluff the oligarchs at River Ridge. Thanks to Vicki Glotzbach and Matt Lorch for following up on last Thursday’s council non-agenda discussion. I’ll try to lift the text from the .pdf when there’s time.

Nine years at $75K comes out to a whopping $675,000 for economic development. At the time this fund first was discussed by council, the conversation centered on its applicability to smaller grassroots organizations, few if any of which (in my memory) have stepped forward since with proposals, although the long defunct New Albany First once placed a bid and was rejected owing to the inclusion of a request to fund a staff person.

Meanwhile council approves funding annually for One Southern Indiana, and Develop New Albany gets a yearly tithe from somewhere (no one seems interested in talking about it). Does 1Si’s and DNA’s subsidies come from this pot, or is the full $75K still (theoretically) available for disbursement?

Inquiring minds and such.

§ 35.30 NONREVERTING FUND FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS.


(A)(1) The Common Council does establish, with an initial commitment of $75,000, a non-reverting fund which will be made available to organizations that pursue economic development goals, plans, strategies and the like, to strengthen the economic foundation of our community.


(2) Disbursements from the non-reverting fund hereby established, shall be made on a case-by-case basis, upon the favorable determination by the Common Council that specific written proposals submitted by the economic development organization, to the Common Council, would be of general benefit and enhancement of the economic foundation and prospects of the entire community. Proposals for specific uses of funds shall be made in reasonable time to allow Common Council members to review and reflect upon the proposed use of such funding requests.


(B) The Common Council may upon review:


(1) Order the fiscal officer of New Albany to release the requested funds,


(2) Seek additional information from the applicant,


(3) Order the fiscal officer of New Albany to release a smaller amount of funds than the applicant requested,


(4) Reject the application.


(C) Or the Common Council, upon review of the applications, may place conditions or restrictions upon the use of whatever amount of funds it determines is reasonable to grant.


(D) The money disbursed from this fund is intended to benefit the entire community and to build a strong economic foundation for now and the future; therefore, use of funds which benefits, or tends to benefit, one political party or group at the expense of another political party or group shall not be permitted.


(E) The economic development organization proposing to use money from this fund shall, in its proposal, outline the general intent of the use of funds including a reasonable assessment of the impact this grant will make on the general economic welfare of the community, or the specific benefit the funding will provide if the project does not affect the entire community. If the project does not benefit the entire community, the proposal shall address why funding should be granted.


(F) When a proposal is approved, the organization winning approval, shall submit to the Common Council, a report of the benefits the organization and the community realized from the funding. Failure to submit such a report shall eliminate the group from future consideration of funding requests until a report of prior use has been completed.


(Ord. G-08-45, passed 12-18-2008)

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