EDC loses out on marketing money

  • Saturday, September 1, 2007 3:00pm
  • Business

The Island County Economic Development Council will lose out on an extra $40,000 as a result of being designated an “urban” area.

Sharon Hart, EDC executive director, told the Board of Island County Commissioners at a recent staff session that the inaccurate categorization was due to an outdated piece of legislation being referenced.

“Because of that inadvertent error, we fell through the cracks,” said John LaFond, EDC president.

The EDC reportedly received $63,000 in Associated Development Organization funds last biennium and will actually receive $84,272 this biennium, said Phyllis Cole, Washington State Department of Community Trade and Economic Development targeted programs manager. The money the EDC will not be receiving is a new and additional $40,000 for counties designated as rural.

“There is more money being given across the board,” Cole said. “The whole formula has changed.”

The categorization problem will have no effect on the larger rural counties economic development funds, which is the .08 percent sales tax rebate the county receives from the state to finance public facilities. Island County became eligible for the funds in 2001 when it was classified as a rural county. It received this classification because it is less than 225 square miles in size.

But in the case of the new $40,000 funding, Hart said lawmakers apparently forgot to include counties smaller than 225 square miles as part of the definition of rural.

The loss proved to be major for the county, preventing the EDC from utilizing the $40,000 that Hart said would have been used to expand the council’s outreach and marketing services.

“We got rural funds last year, but not this year,” Hart said. “I was shocked. We’re the first canary in the coal mine, but it’s going to filter down.”

The Community Economic Revitalization Board’s formula specifies that a county is rural only if it has less than 100 people per square mile.

Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen has reportedly pledged to work with the Legislature to fix the disparity.

More in Business

Sound Publishing makes $500K in grants available to struggling businesses

Sound Publishing has launched a local stimulus program to help businesses adapt… Continue reading

Despite 2020, Oak Harbor deli opens doors for business

An island-wide power outage and a pandemic couldn’t keep Zanini’s Deli from opening in Oak Harbor.

Oak Harbor woman creates clean candles to sell during quarantine

A new mother wanted a candle she could use around her baby so she made her own.

Local vibes: New shop puts focus on unique, handmade items

PNW Vibes in Oak Harbor offers a variety of items handmade by Pacific Northwest creators.

Photo by Olivia Vanni/The Herald
South Whidbey resident Melanie Evans stands outside the Washington Aerospace Training Research Center in Everett.
With industries in flux, retraining gives workers options

Edmonds College and Everett Community College report increases of workers interested in education.

New business integrating into the fabric of Langley
New business integrating into the fabric of Langley

The Blue Peony has been in business for years but opened its first storefront in Langley this summer.

Clinton Chamber of Commerce gets new president

The former president stepped down to focus on her own business.

Penn Cove Taproom opening on So. Main

Two Coupeville natives, brothers Marc and Mitch Aparicio, this week expect to see the first tangible result of their long-standing interest in beer and brewing. The Penn Cove Taproom plans to open for business at 103 S. Main St. in their home town.

New wheels add shine to grooming biz
New wheels add shine to grooming biz

The newest addition to Oak Harbor’s grooming salon Posh Puppies may have… Continue reading

Rockin’ a Hard Place: Beth’s tasty 20-year road to success at bayleaf
Rockin’ a Hard Place: Beth’s tasty 20-year road to success at bayleaf

I’m always intrigued by the fascinating, sometimes convoluted stories of how people… Continue reading

Dolls of historical figures are available at Purple Moon.
Whidbey offers unique gift ideas

Shoppers looking for gifts beyond the usual online and big-box options have… Continue reading