It took nearly a year, but the Starke County Commissioners signed a contract with the Starke County Economic Development Foundation for two years.
Commissioner Kathy Norem said there is a three-month termination clause built into the agreement along with a reduction in funding.
“Part of that came to be with this budget cut and the subsequent need to continue to dip into the CEDIT funds for other things that we’ve needed,” explained Norem. “That will go from $180,000 a year to $159,480.”
The contract also states that the Starke County Economic Development Foundation will continue to be the primary point for the county’s community and economic development. They will conduct business recruitment activities designed to provide new employment and tax base in Starke County. The foundation staff will also provide marketing and promotion. They will also strive to assist the entities currently doing business in Starke County to promote their retention and expansion.
The foundation will also establish small business loans for qualified applicants, among other responsibilities. An outside entity will conduct a performance review at the commissioners’ discretion and the foundation will pay half of the cost of that review.
With that, the commissioners unanimously approved the contract and it will now go before the foundation’s board of directors for their approval.