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Economic development may see city funding boost

At its meeting on Monday Aug. 12, the City Council discussed a draft of a agreement between the city of Estacada and the Economic Development Association.

Lingelbach told the council that the association would like to take the Main Street program to the next step, fill empty storefronts downtown and reach out to existing businesses that are struggling.

City Manager Bill Elliott had mentioned during the council meeting on July 8 that he hoped that any arm of the city dealing in economic development also would focus on the city’s industrial campus.

Lingelbach said during the Aug. 8 meeting that he thought the association’s existing marketing materials aimed to attract new business downtown could also be used to attract businesses to the industrial campus.

The city on Monday, July 8, granted the association $18,000 toward the salary of its current Main Street Program manager

At that meeting, Mayor Brent Dodrill had told the council that he’d like the city to increase funds to the association and support it as the city’s arm for economic development.

The city is considering an additional $40,000 to the association toward that end.

With that sum, the association hopes to hire a full-time (or close to full-time) Main Street Program manager. It’s also possible that the position may be filled by more than one person through a job share.

EDA chairman Phil Lingelbach said he wants the person or people who fill the position to have graphic design and event planning skills. He stated that he hopes a city councilor will be on the panel that evaluates candidates for the position.

“$40,000 allows us to really implement the Main Street Program as it’s intended,” said Lingelbach.

From the discussion, it became clear that this Main Street Program manager’s job would be broader in scope than the duties that have typically fallen under this job title in Estacada.

Dodrill indicated that perhaps this person’s job title should hold a different name.

“So what we’re agreeing to is an economic development manager not just focused on downtown Main Street,” he said.

The agreement also states that the city will provide office space and utilities for Economic Development Association staff.

The Chamber of Commerce currently provides a small desk space for current Main Street Program Manager Gloria Polzin, but Chamber Administrator Connie Redmond explained later that a larger desk would have to be installed at least.

Lingelbach said the association would also request an additional $2,000 for office supplies and print materials to get the new economic development manager setup.

Councilor Michele Conditt voiced her reservations.

“I’m struggling with that other $2,000, Phil,” she said. “I feel like we’re already giving a lot.”

The council directed Lingelbach and Elliott to meet and fine-tune the MOU.

Elliott said that he would operate under the assumption that the association was requesting $42,000 in addition to the $18,000 it had already been granted.

The council will have to vote to approve the sum.

Funds for the new economic development manager will come from the city’s general fund. It’s likely that savings from the city’s law enforcement contract with the Sandy Police Department will be used for economic development.

City Code

The council discussed revisions to the city code.

Elliott said that after studying the language in other city’s codes, he made efforts to tighten up the language and provide definitions for ambiguous terms such as “garbage.”

Other proposed changes include extending the period in which a property owner may allow garbage to accumulate on their property without penalty from two weeks to thirty days. However, the property owner could be penalized if the garbage becomes “offensive.”

After discussing the new language, Dodrill asked, “Here’s my question for the council: We’ve spent some time refining these. Are we going to enforce them?”

Councilor Sean Drinkwine echoed the sentiment, “I think too with the new police force coming on we’ve got to give them some teeth to enforce this.”

“I feel like we’ve been somewhat lenient in my seven years of being here,” Dodrill continued. “But now it has been years and years and years of the city not enforcing it.”

Elliott said he’d run the proposed changes and new language by the city attorney to make sure it was legally enforceable.

“I’m glad we’ve had this discussion,” Drinkwine said. I’ve always wanted to talk about code enforcement.”



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