Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer asked for the county council’s support in overturning legislation to free up money for the CEDIT fund for economic development.
Origer explained that the CDC board recently discussed how the special CAGIT tax is used and believes it could be used in a different fashion. The lease of the jail bond is currently being paid for out of the CEDIT fund at a total of $261,000 per year.
“That special CAGIT tax, just that special addition for the jail, has annual revenues greater than our CEDIT revenues. This concerns us because the amount of money we have out of CEDIT for actual economic development projects, say putting toward and infrastructure on the west side for this project for which we’ve had the engineering study completed, is greatly inhibited by the annual jail lease payment,” said Origer.
Origer requested the council’s support in approaching the local legislators to change the code to allow the council to use the CAGIT money for the jail lease.
“This gives us the opportunity to come to the table, the CDC, commissioners, council and the incoming sheriff, to talk about this and see if there is a better way to make use of county revenue. We can make sure that we are not collecting a tax that is going into a fund that is very, very healthy while we are also taking money out of CEDIT which is less healthy to pay for that building.”
If the bill is crafted and approved with the change, Origer said he will approach the council to discuss the issue further.
The lease of the jail bond is complete in 2020.
Origer had approached the commissioners with a similar request which they approved. The council also unanimously approved the request.