Pulaski Council Member Suggests Giving Towns Money for Economic Development

As the Pulaski County Community Development Commission faces a staffing cut, one county council member is suggesting a different way to spur economic growth. During Monday’s county commissioners meeting, Council Member Mike Tiede suggested giving each of the county’s towns $25 per resident.

“Francesville lost a pharmacy and all this stuff, and I think they’d probably want a restaurant. They could take their money to put in a restaurant,” Tiede told the commissioners. “Medaryville, I think they need a doctor’s office. Winamac, that’s not in my district, but they could do whatever they wanted to, and they do get a lot. Winamac gets the most money. And Monterey, that’s not in my district, either, but I said they could try to develop that school property.”

Tiede figured the total cost would be about $97,000, while the CDC’s current budget is $228,000. “You know, with the resources we have and the track record of community development, maybe it’s time for a change,” he said, “or we can just keep doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same results.”

He suggested that each town council would be in charge of using that money as its members see fit. Tiede thought that local officials know more about what they need than other people do. Each town already gets a share of the county’s economic development income tax.

Tiede was one of four council members who voted last week to remove funding for the CDC’s project coordinator position from the 2020 budget proposal. CDC members will plan their response during a special session tonight.

Tiede also apparently shared a personnel concern with the commissioners, but they didn’t want to discuss it in a public meeting.