Economic Development Layoffs

The man in charge of trying to lure new jobs to town will soon be looking for work himself. Frank stone has been the executive director of the economic development council for three and half years, but that will soon change the EDC relies heavily on funds from the county and city to keep afloat and wasn't able to secure funds this year.

"The city council was committed to giving the EDC the money we received from the city for the last three years, but the county was facing such a budgetary crisis that the EDC and some other departments got axed," Julie Conley says.

Last month 22 county employees lost their jobs. Stone says the EDC is one of a few agencies dedicated to bringing jobs to the county.

"If you focus heavily on economics you will bring businesses here, which will then build new house, which it help the counties tax base, which means we will rely less on grants and other things," says Stone Frank.

Stone says the economic development council has been diligently trying to attract businesses to this 50 acre industrial park as well as the county so I think they let something good slip away from them.

EDC board members are hoping county commissioners will not close the door on the council in next year's budget. Stone's last day is Friday. The secretary will now work on a part-time basis to try to make sure the board is aware of potential new businesses that may want relocate to Jefferson County.


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