County drafts letter of support for development
The Franklin County Commission will draft a letter of support to Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow and Sen. Roger Bedford, asking them to introduce legislation that would help fund the county's economic development.
Gene Graham was the lone commission to voice opposition to the move, citing financial binds placed on the county's rural volunteer fire departments.
"I can't support anything like this without asking that our local fire departments get something," he said. "They have to rely on donations and their own fund raising efforts and if we're looking at ways to fund something, I think we should be looking for ways to help them."
It's still up to Morrow and Bedford to introduce the legislation, but should it be met favorably in the statehouse, one-half cent of the county's sales tax would be earmarked for economic development.
The Franklin County Development Authority Board and Executive Director Mitch Mays currently have three industrial parks prime for inhabitation.
Such funding would allow the Board to make any needed improvements to the property and could also fund the construction of a spec building, something Mays has been a long and vocal supporter of.
A similar proposal was brought before the commission nearly a year ago, but never made it much farther than the commission meeting room.
However, that proposal called for a whole cent to be earmarked. Commission Chairman Barry Moore said he wasn't sure whether or not the half-cent would make much difference one way or the other.
"You just never know," he said. "We'll just have to wait and see."