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Supes Vote To Fund EDC

The EDC lives.

The Tuolumne County Supervisors voted this morning to fund the Economic Development Company of Tuolumne County.

EDC officials were worried that without the county´s assistance, the Sonora-based business advocacy group – which promotes business, conducts educational business seminars and aids in support of local small business – would have to close its doors.

Barry Hillman, president of the Economic Development Company of Tuolumne County told members Friday afternoon “It´s the final hour.”

The supervisors voted 3-2 to provide $100,000 to the EDC, from the county´s general fund. Supervisors Mark Thornton and Jim Peterson were the two opposing votes.

Supervisors are looking into funding options to recoup money back into the general fund coffers. A motion brought to the table by Supervisor Dick Pland was two-fold- mirroring a memo from County Administrator C. Brent Wallace.

Wallace recommended in the May 25, 2004 memo to supervisors regarding the EDC, that the county look into implementing business property assessments which would recover costs for various regulatory services for which businesses are not currently charged, such as building, safety and fire inspections, or code compliance.

Wallace quoted a figure in the area of about $130,000 to $240,000 annually that could be recovered for the current regulatory services the county provide. He wrote: “There would be sufficient new revenue in such a new fee to dedicate a portion to the EDC.”

During Tuesday´s morning session, Supervisor Dick Pland motioned to have county staff research the business license fee, and direct staff “to find $100,000 dollars in next year´s budget to finance EDC.”

Wallace suggested to supervisors in the memo that these future fees would become “new revenue to the general fund which could be dedicated to funding all or a portion of the EDC.”