Inter-local agreement first draft presented
Friday, December 20, 2013 10:00 AM
The Advance Collaboration Team met Thursday to make final revisions to an inter-local agreement that would set up a county economic development committee of elected officials from Madison, Jefferson County and Hanover.
The team presented a preliminary draft to an audience of local residents and a few elected officials at the Venture Out Business Center. The audience then made suggestions for the final draft, which will be sent to local government bodies early next year for approval.
The ACT board - which includes County Council member Larry Wynn, Hanover Town Council president Debbie Kroger and City Council member Pete Backus, met for several months to create the agreement.
The Board of Commissioners and Madison Mayor Damon Welch did not assign a representative.
The inter-local agreement is a 10-page document that includes 10 different articles covering the formation of the board, membership and term limits, as well as funding.
Before releasing the rough draft on Thursday, Wynn noted that the agreement is still a "living document."
The proposed board, called the Community Development Council, would have seven members, including representatives from the County Council, City Council, the mayor, Hanover Town Council and Board of Commissioners, as well as representatives from WorkOne and Ivy Tech Community College. The inclusion of a workforce development agency and college allows the committee to apply for federal and state grants, Wynn said.
Among other duties, the function of the board would be to create, implement and evaluate a comprehensive economic development strategy to improve quality of place, life and opportunity.
The board would meet in an open session once a month and would have the ability to create subcommittees of local businesses and residents to research areas such tourism, downtown development, etc. Funding from local government entities would come from the County Economic Development Tax.
The ACT board said it drew heavily from public comment, Welch's initial economic development proposal and new ideas along the way to create the agreement.
"What we're trying to do is produce something that will bring all parties together," Backus said.
The draft was written by Lisa Lee, an attorney at the Indianapolis firm Ice Miller, whom Wynn said has agreed not to bill for her services.
Under the agreement, each board member would be limited to two consecutive terms, but not every government entity would have the same term length. The City Council and County Council representatives would serve an initial three-year term - with a two-year second term - while the Hanover and Board of Commissioners representative would have two-year terms.
The mayor could serve throughout his or her time in office or has the option of appointing a private resident who serves in a management position for a pro-profit business. The Board of Commissioners would have a similar appointment option, according to the agreement.
On Thursday, the ACT board agreed to slightly change the wording of the mayor's involvement, giving the City Council power to appoint a representative if the mayor chooses not to participate or appoint a representative.
The agreement also would be in full force for 12 months and require a one-year written notice from government entities wishing to withdraw from the group. However, the withdraw of a governing entity would not constitute the cancellation of the agreement for the remaining bodies.
Wynn said the ACT board plans to release a final draft to the public and then submit the agreement to the city, county and Hanover councils at their January meetings.