UPDATE: County ending ties with economic development corporation
The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors will end its decades long relationship with the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation at the end of 2013.
A new marketing initiative is being devised by the county to go into operation next year.
This year the county is scheduled to give $200,000 to SEDC, which was the same level of funding as 2012. In 2011, SEDC received $320,000 from the county.
According to tax filings from SEDC, the county made up about 30 percent of the group's revenue in 2011. That tax filing is available below.
It's not clear what the overall SEDC budget is for 2013. A call to SEDC President Dennis A. Brobston was not immediately returned.
Board Chairman Alan Grattidge, R-Charlton, stressed that the decision wasn't about trying to save revenue. "We could spend the same amount or even more [on economic development in 2014," he said in an interview on Wednesday afternoon.
Talking about the reliance of SEDC on private funds in recent years, Grattidge said that as a result they put more of an emphasis on their members' needs than the needs of the county. "I think they have become more of a membership driven organization," he said. "We want a more focused agent that will focus on the economic development actives of the county."
He added that upon becoming chairman of the board of supervisors, he had asked for a review of all the outside agencies the county contracted with. "It's been a while coming," Grattidge said of the final decision.
In a statement, Grattidge praised SEDC for its success since 1978 and credited it with attracting and retaining businesses in the county.
"We believe it is in the best interest of both SEDC and Saratoga County to pursue our respective missions, and we look forward to collaborating with SEDC as opportunities present themselves to further economic development in Saratoga County," Grattidge said in a statement.
According to county board member John Lawler, R-Waterford, said now is the time for the county to take a "fresh look" at its economic development program.
"The committee’s goal is to create a marketing initiative which is solely dedicated to economic development in Saratoga County, aligns with the Board of Supervisors’ strategic vision, and is accountable to Saratoga County residents," he said.
The annual SEDC dinner is next week, where this decision will likely be a hot issue.
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