Funding The EDA
|I dare say, few Loudon County citizens know what the EDA is. The EDA
is The Loudon County Economic Development Agency. It's no part of Loudon
County government even though the county gives then a pile of money
every year. The EDA is actually just a non-profit organization. Below is
a little historical info on the EDA.
So the purpose for the EDA is to bring economic development to the county, creating jobs and generally being an asset for the county and cities. There are some who believe the EDA does a good job for the county. I am not one of those people. I guess if someone could show me one success from the EDA in the last 15 years I could get on board. But that's not the reason for this story.
The issue here is how the EDA is funded. Some years ago, Loudon, Lenoir City and Loudon County entered into an agreement to fund this organization. Not sure who's brain child the funding scheme was but it sure left the county tax payers holding the bag.
Currently, Loudon County pays about 68%, Loudon City pays about 15% and Lenoir City pays about 14% with the balance coming from the Committee of 100. In dollar amounts that comes to the county paying $162,545.00, Loudon paying $36,096.00 and Lenoir City paying $32,793.00. I don't know about you, but the first question that jumps out at me is, why does the county pay four or five times more than the two cities? Especially given that all the industries and businesses that the EDA has supposedly brought in have located in one cities.
I recently proposed to the county budget committee that if all the government bodies felt that the EDA was such a vital asset, maybe all three governments should fund the EDA equally. that would come to about $77,000.00 each. Makes sense to me.
Personally, I don't think the EDA is worth any tax dollars but somehow they keep getting a boat load.