By: Mario Conde, Reporter
The Imperial County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement of services with the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation at their May 21st meeting.
The Board of Supervisors met at their regular session to discuss the renewal of their service agreement with IVEDC. At the board’s direction, the item was tabled in March so the agreement can be revised and include measurable variables that help IVEDC and the County work together and be successful in bringing more economic development to the area.
In May of 2017, the board approved an agreement for services with the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation in the amount of $75,000. That agreement expired on June 30, 2018. County staff has been working with IVEDC on the terms for a renewal of the agreement in which requires IVEDC to provide written quarterly reports of marketing activities to the county including data on job creation and technical assistance provided to local businesses. IVEDC will also recognize the county as a top tier sponsor at all IVEDC sponsored events and consider the county as a Diamond Level investor, including all benefits. IVEDC requested an increase in county support in the amount of $100,000.
County Board Chairman Ryan Kelley said that he hopes the new agreement will be all-inclusive this time and have a closer relationship with IVEDC. Kelley said there should be more promotion on what the county can offer in the hemp industry now that is growing in Imperial Valley.
“We combined economic and workforce development to be a one-stop shop so we need that IVEDC marketing arm working in union with this new organization within the county,” Chairman Kelley.
Supervisor District 1 Jesus Eduardo Escobar stated for the record that he is no longer a member of the IVEDC board or serving as treasurer as of Feb. 1. Escobar said that in order to improve the financial situation of the county they need to be very aggressive in bringing new industry to the valley and said that IVEDC should work hand-in-hand with the county to market and attract investment.
“We need specific projects and a timeline of where those projects stand at the moment and should be disclosed,” Escobar stated and advised the proposed contract should include the measurable information on specific projects and job creation.
“This agreement brings the expectations of the county in regards to economic development and job creation we expect from them, to have more shovel ready projects. If we don’t see shovel ready projects then we can revisit the agreement,” Escobar said.