EDA headed back under county umbrella

Published: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 10:05 AM.

The Board of County Commissioners will again hit rewind on a model to promote economic development.

Following the recommendation of the current board of the Gulf County Economic Development Alliance, Inc. (EDA) and the advisory committee appointed by commissioners as liaison to the EDA, the BOCC approved bringing the EDA back under its umbrella.

A detailed proposal outlining the model will be brought to commissioners in two weeks, but, in broad strokes, county attorney Jeremy Novak said the proposal would be for operations similar to the Tourist Development Council, with a director and advisory council.

The director, Novak said, would be a county employee or under county supervision, though specifics were unclear during Tuesday’s regular bi-monthly meeting.

Commissioners approved the tentative recommendation 4-1 with Commissioner Joanna Bryan dissenting.

The EDA, a private contractor with the BOCC, was created just over a year ago after the BOCC had voted to bring what was then the Economic Development Council, and its executive director Barry Sellers, under the BOCC.

The EDA has an all-volunteer board and after Sellers became ill and was forced to leave his position last summer, the EDA has operated without an executive director, in part relying on informal assistance from the Bay County Economic Development Alliance.

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