Planning Commission to ask council to leave ODEC

BY Jan Murray jmurray@southeastsun.com

Planning Commission to ask council to leave ODEC
“We’ve got nothing,” said Daleville’s Code Enforcement Officer Wayne Stripling to the city’s Planning Commission during a Jan. 24 meeting in regards to the “lack of representation and no (positive) results” from the Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Corporation. Ultimately, the commission voted unanimously to recommend to the city council that it end its relationship with the economic development group.Stripling said the city is spending “$23,000 per year” for ODEC services and that money can “be better spent in-house” or with someone other than the Ozark-based group. “What we’ve seen from them in the past four years, what they bring with them (on visits) is a four-page pamphlet,” said Stripling, adding that the information in the pamphlet is wrong.Chairman Frank Moore said, “We have no representation on that board (ODEC)…Enterprise, Geneva, Ozark are not going to do anything for us. We need to take care of ourselves.”In June 2001, Daleville joined the Enterprise Coffee Geneva Economic Development Corporation, which later became the Wiregrass Economic Development Corporation in 2013. Dissatisfied with results from that long-time membership, the city joined up with ODEC in December 2012.According to the 2017 fiscal year budget, approved in September 2016, the city has $12,000 budgeted specifically for the ODEC. Another $9,000 is budgeted for a Strategic Retail Marketing Plan.The commission unanimously agreed with Stripling’s assessment that the funds can be better used for economic growth in some other way or with some other organization. Stripling also said, and the commissioners agreed, that the agreement with ODEC was to provide for targeted promotion and marketing of Daleville “and that has not been done.”Planning Commission members are Mayor Jayme Stayton, Vice-Chairwoman and Councilwoman Katheryne Horace, Chairman Frank Moore, Jo Reese, John Flournoy, James Spears, Debbie McCall, Debra Latremore and Stripling. All were present at the January meeting. The last meeting was Aug. 30, 2016.The board also stated it will need to amend the city’s Comprehensive Plan, which was compiled by the Planning Commission and approved by the city council in March 2015.The plan is a comprehensive plan for the future and a first for the city since 1999. Anyone can view the plan at dalevilleal.com under the “Government” heading.The portion of the plan that will need changing states the city will “maintain a strong partnership with the Ozark–Dale County Economic Development Corporation and Daleville Area Chamber of Commerce for targeted promotion and marketing of Daleville.”With all the discussion about what the ODEC has apparently not done for the “City of Possibilities,” Chairman Moore said, “All of these comments just point to how everything is interrelated. We are not stand-alone committees. We are not stand-alone commissions. We are all here to work together supporting one another for the growth and well-being of our citizenry.”Moore was specific about how the recommendation to the city council should read and said, “After review of the services provided by the ODEC, the Planning Commission has concerns about the representation and presentation of Daleville, therefore we recommend that the city council take under advisement to no longer continue services with them and to consider alternative measures for approval.”The city council holds the financial strings for any move in severing ties with the ODEC.ODEC is a non-profit 501c6 organization that, according to its website, operates under a comprehensive but targeted three-year business plan which is developed and reviewed by investors from public government and private business within the Dale County trade area and that the “mission of the ODEC is to improve the economy of Dale County through the creation and preservation of jobs and wealth.”
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