“It´s the final hour. It really is,” said a somber Barry Hillman, president of the Economic Development Company of Tuolumne County Friday afternoon.
EDC officials are worried. If the county board of supervisors Tuesday doesn´t agree to help fund the EDC — they will be forced to shut their doors.
Hillman told a luncheon gathering at the Opera Hall in Sonora Friday, “If we aren´t successful in finding some funding support on Tuesday, we have to make provisions to wind things up, sooner rather than later.”
The Sonora-based business advocacy group promotes business, conducts educational business seminars and aids in support of local small business.
Elizabeth Jones, Executive Vice President of the Economic Development Co. said more than $1.8 million in start-up dollars, from both private and public sector, has been invested in the organization since its inception in 1995. She noted $770,000 from public sector, the county and city over an million dollars contributed by private funds.
Hillman said some Tuolumne County supervisors would like to see the EDC become a component of the county. “It´s hard for me to imagine how the private sector would really participate in that and how the county could provide the same type of function and capability that a true private/public sector partnership can do and has done here.”
County Administrator C. Brent Wallace had proposed giving the EDC 25 percent of the taxes businesses pay on their equipment each year: about $110,000. The supervisors rejected that plan.
Supervisors hear the EDC´s plea for funding during their regular Tuesday morning board session at 9 a.m. at the County Administration Center in Sonora.