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Look back: New Cayuga County development position closer to happening | History

April 10, 2007

A committee in the making will try to create a multifaceted point person who will work to bring businesses to both Auburn and Cayuga County.

A group of county legislators, city councilors and industrial development authority members met informally Monday to see if there was interest and common ground in creating a joint economic development position. The informal group had no quorums, so it could not vote or otherwise take formal action.

A representative from the county and city governments, Auburn Industrial Development Authority, Cayuga County Industrial Development Authority and a focus group from the “Call to Action” panel will form a committee to push the position forward and review questions about funding and administration.

The committee has until May 15 to come up with a plan to create and fill the joint economic developer job.

“We’ve got the concept down, the five (committee members) just need to hammer out the details,” said Dave Smith, a member of the Call to Action focus group on economic development.

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The group earlier decided they want the four main organizations – the city, the county, county IDA, and AIDA – to fund the position equally and have the same say over the office.

An earlier suggestion to draft a sales tax agreement between Auburn and the county to fund the position likely would not receive the necessary backing in the legislature, Pappert said. The committee will have to look elsewhere for funds, Pappert said.

The job description would include communicating with existing businesses to ensure they continue to thrive in the area, Legislator David Pappert said.

“What’s good for the county is good for the city, and vice versa,” AIDA chair Chuck Mace said.

The point person would woo companies and find the right place for them, the group agreed.

“Companies would like the government to work together. Now we’ll have one committee to go to, ”county Legislator Peter Tortorici said.

Auburn Mayor Timothy Lattimore suggested the committee work with the chambers of commerce to get more out of that relationship.

The soon-to-be formed committee will replace the informal group so they will no longer meet, relying instead on their representatives to report back to the larger bodies, Pappert said.

– Compiled by David Wilcox

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