Pulaski County CDC Director Gives Economic Update

Nathan Origer presents information to Pulaski County Commissioners
Nathan Origer presents information to Pulaski County Commissioners

The Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director gave the commissioners some food for thought in their meeting this week.

Nathan Origer said the third and final site study has been done on a west side rail industrial development. Preliminary work will be sought to make sure the landowners are on board to move forward with efforts for economic development.

Origer presented a contract for a company to overhaul the county’s zoning ordinances.

“When the county zoning ordinance was adopted, it had been put together in-house. It was, I assume, a cost-saving measure. One of the prime drivers was someone who had worked in planning, but it was a lot of copy and paste. What you copy from one county’s ordinance and another county’s ordinance did not mesh with this county. Last year I was working with the plan commission to make fixes in-house until we realized that the best bang for our buck was to hire professionals who have experience in rural communities to take this ordinance and customize it to Pulaski County,” said Origer.

The commissioners approved a motion to move forward in this overhaul.

Origer also asked for the county’s support to go to the local legislators to loosen up regulations on the jail’s lease that comes out of the CEDIT fund. He recommend that the funds for the jail lease from from the CAGIT fund.

“This tax every months brings more revenue into the county than the CEDIT does and yet the CEDIT is the one that has to be used to the tune of a quarter-of-a-million dollars a year for the jail lease. We’d like to see if we can get the law changed where we might end up using that jail tax for as long as it is in existence to go towards, at least in part, the lease payments. That way some money can be freed up from CEDIT for actual economic development projects. If we get everything squared away on the west side development, we can use more cash on hand and borrow less.”

The commissioners approved his request and Origer will seek approval from the county council.