Concerning funding for the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance of $114,000 for 2014, Councilman James Papacek said he had mixed feelings about the request.
Papacek said the county agreed to a three-year commitment, and was willing to fund it at $57,000 for the next two years.
“We’ve not received a whole lot for our money,” he said. “Give them another year and see if there are different results.”
Commissioner Tyler Moore said prior to the creation of the GKEDA, there was no timeline for the contributions previously made by the county to the partner organizations, including the chamber of commerce, Inventrek Technology Park and the downtown association.
“The Alliance is not just about bringing new jobs, but retaining what we have,” he said. “The county doesn’t have an economic development department. Our contribution is county support for businesses being here.”
Moore said the Alliance is a way for the county to have a voice in development along the Kokomo Corridor.
Councilman John Roberts said the funding for the Alliance is in unison with the city of Kokomo’s and is a good investment for the county.
The council approved $100,000 for 2014 and $50,000 for 2015.
Papacek said there was no guarantee of funding for the Alliance beyond 2015.
“We have not seen tangible results for our money,” he said. “I’m willing to give them one more chance.”
Ortman said the request for $50,000 for a possible convention center was premature until a feasibility study is completed.