I respectfully request that the City Council consider a bond referendum of $20 Million dollars for Job Creation and Retention and Economic Development.
Full text of his email to the City Manager after the jump.
I respectfully request that the City Council consider a bond referendum of $20 Million dollars for Job Creation and Retention and Economic Development. If appropriate, I request an addendum on the agenda for tomorrow's City Council Meeting.
With all do respect to the potential for a Performing Arts Center, in my opinion we need to have the majority of our focus on the creation and retention of jobs. The City of Greensboro, with citizen support, could have the ability to make a positive impact on existing businesses looking to expand and new companies looking to locate.
The economic development bond that was passed in 2006 will most likely be allocated in full by the end of this year.
While the bond was a positive step in improving our City and creating expansion opportunities, I do believe there should be changes to the language.
I would like the bond to be flexible and sustainable. It should have a revolving loan pool whereas the money can be used to aid development or expansion with a revolving loan to be paid back and then Council can use those dollars for future projects thus creating a sustainable allocation of dollars that will only be used for job creation for many Councils in the future.
The bond should also have the flexibility to be used for infrastructure purposes and not simply for real estate purposes only. For instance, when existing companies are considering expansions, at times they may run into ancillary cost that the City could help with; such as, turn lanes, curb and gutters, etc.
With the language being changed to grants and loans, it will also give the City the ability to utilize some dollars to help with companies looking to relocate and the expenses that occur through this process.
In the spirit of job creation and retention, I hope the bond language could have a piece to focus on job skill training. There are many groups in our community, including Workforce Development and GTCC, that are attempting to train our citizens in various job skill training and my hope would be if there are gaps in these areas then Council could potential utilize these dollars to aid in skill training for our citizens to gain the experience needed to be hired back into the workforce.
Please advise any questions or comments.
Greensboro City Council
Zack, per our discussion earlier today, we will begin conducting research into this item. I want to be able to provide a sense to Council of our current debit capacity as well as how this proposal can supplant or augment the City's incentive, loan pool and economic development program. I would like time to prepare this information and believe we can have it prepared for the first meeting in March. I anticipate you will bring this item forward tomorrow for Council to direct me to review the request and schedule it for the next meeting.