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Industrial board in fight for funding
IDB director Don Alexander said the cut resulted in a lean year.

The Industrial Development Board has requested $250,000 from Warren County for fiscal year 2016-17, a full reinstatement after having its budget cut last year.
During last year’s budget discussions, IDB had its request of $250,000 reduced to $150,000 by county Budget and Finance Committee members after they questioned the organization’s financial needs.
IDB director Don Alexander said the cut resulted in a lean year.
“Knowing that budgets are tight, we at the Industrial Development Board have tried to be good stewards of the money that is entrusted with us,” Alexander said. “With the money we received from the county and with the money we received from the city, which was $40,000, we operated on about a 51 percent budget of what we requested.”
Lean times may continue. While the donation request was unanimously approved by county Economic and Agricultural Development Committee members Ron Lee, Gary Martin, Gary Prater and Tyrone Sparkman on Tuesday, Budget and Finance committee members Terry Bell, Carl E. Bouldin, Michael Martin and Diane Starkey unanimously pulled it from consideration two days later.
“If you go back four or five years ago, when we gave them $2.4 million, they were supposed to be self-sufficient,” said Michael Martin. “They weren’t supposed to come back to the court and ask for no more money, but it seems like they’ve been coming back every year wanting money. It seems somebody didn’t use the money wisely.”
Bell stated, “That’s exactly right.”
Martin said, “I make a motion we look at it when the budget is in and see what we can give them.”
During last year’s budget discussion, County Executive Herschel Wells said he had heard complaints from existing companies they couldn’t find enough people to fill the jobs they currently have available and they want the county to slow job creation.
“Right now, we don’t need to be attracting,” said Wells. “We’ve got more businesses than we have people to work. What they are telling me and board members is we need to put the brakes on a little bit.”
Alexander contends now is the time to create jobs.
“Right now times are good, but we’ve been here before,” said Alexander. “Now is the time to prepare for when the economy dips. We know, because we’ve lived through them, that the economy doesn’t always stay up.”
According to the proposed budget for fiscal year 2016-17, IDB is projecting total expenses of $1.77 million and total revenue of $1.78 million. Included in revenue is a proposed contribution of $125,000 from the city of McMinnville and the $250,000 requested from the county.