York County’s economic development arm has taken its first steps toward creating an economic development reserve fund.
The plan, which will likely go before the full county council in April, calls for the deposit of proceeds from the sale of speculative buildings to the fund. The York County Economic Development Board would then be responsible for investing that money into commercial recruitment efforts.
York County Councilman Michael Johnson said the fund is designed to “take some of the politics” out of economic development efforts. “It won’t be an East-West, North-South issue and take some of the politics out of it,” he said.
The program is not limited to funding speculative buildings — but could include projects like road improvements that fall under the umbrella of economic development, board chairman Manning Kimmel said. Kimmel is the Managing Partner of OTS Media, WRHI’s parent company.
Johnson, who represents the northeastern district in York County, believes the program will offer flexibility to economic development professionals.
“It’s going to give them the ability to say ‘Here is the best place today to get Business Y to come to York County,’” Johnson said. “Before, we drug for months making sure the council was OK with it. Now it will allow this committee to move faster and bring business to York County.”