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Berry reconsiders EDP funding
Monday, February 04, 2013 10:00 AM
“A couple councilmen and I put some stuff out to members of the EDP board to see if they were open to make changes. And they were very open to make changes. I was surprised to see how open they were.”
- City Council President Rick Berry
The Madison City Council could take another look at funding for the Economic Development Partners after a change of heart from Council President Rick Berry.
Berry said Sunday he has had discussions with the members of the EDP board that led him to change his mind about funding the group.
"A couple councilmen and I put some stuff out to members of the EDP board to see if they were open to make changes. And they were very open to make changes. I was surprised to see how open they were," Berry said. "They were open to almost all of it."
On Jan. 22, the council voted 4-3 on a motion offered by Berry to deny any future funding of the economic development organization. Berry and Mayor Damon Welch were reportedly close to a deal that would include EDP in the economic development plan, but that fell through prior to the council meeting.
Berry said it would behoove the city to continue a partnership with the county and working together on economic development, especially at a time when budgets are tight.
A vote to fund EDP isn't likely to occur at Tuesday's city council meeting. Berry said he hoped to receive public input at another committee meeting before making a recommendation to the full council.
Welch said he and Berry are "seriously close" to a deal on an economic development plan that would involve funding a restructured EDP.
Welch said there would likely be time for public comment on the issue at Tuesday's City Council meeting.
"I just want to give every opportunity for them to do what's right for the city and county," Welch said.
Berry said funding EDP would continue to be done on a yearly basis.
"We'll address it a year from now if things don't turn out like we thought," Berry said.
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