A proposed donation of $20,000 by the city of McMinnville to fund the Industrial Development Board has one county commission wondering if the city should be ousted from the board.
“I have a question about the Industry Board,” said Commission Michael Martin during a Budget and Finance Committee meeting Monday. “We have been funding that for the last 20 something years, and the city keeps cutting its funding.”
Under consideration by county officials is the proposed budget for fiscal year 2013-14. The Industrial Development Board received $34,000 from the city in 2012, while this year’s contribution is set at $20,000. The numbers are preliminary and subject to change.
The 10-member Industrial Development Board includes five members appointed by the city and five appointed by the county. Martin say representation on the board does not match financial contributions.
“I have a problem with the city having five members on the board if they are not going to participate 100 percent,” Martin said. “It should be equal. If they aren’t going to provide funding, I think the five members need to come off the board that the city appoints. We are footing the whole bill.”
While city officials are discussing a donation of $20,000, the county’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2013-14 includes a combined $250,000 donation to the IDB.
According to County Executive John Pelham, IDBs were established by state statue without restrictions on how much should be donated by the city or county, but with the stipulation there should be equal representation.
Martin asked Pelham about the possibility of dissolving the charter.
“We would have to write a new charter for it,” said Pelham. “The charter we are operating under right now is one between the city and the county.”
Martin added, “I would rather do that. Let’s dissolve the charter and start all over.”
The meeting was held to review the county’s proposed budget. On the committee with Martin are Commissioners Herschel Wells, Terry Bell, Carl Bouldin and Ken Martin.
Other than Martin’s comments, no discussion was held regarding the suggestion and no decision was made.