Milton, chamber update link

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Friday, December 2, 2011
— The city of Milton is overhauling its relationship with the Milton Area Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

Under a new agreement approved this week, the city cut overall funding for the nonprofit economic development group and changed the way it is funded. MACCIT is charged with economic development work for the city.

This year's city budget dedicated $21,000 to MACCIT. The budget approved Tuesday would shave that to $20,000. That's in step with cuts made to municipal departments during budget planning.

But the real difference in the new agreement: The city now describes MACCIT as a contractor for the city. That change essentially ties strings to funding, allowing the city to set a payment rate and number of hours MACCIT must spend on specific economic development activities.

Before the agreement, the group had been funded to complete work for the city through donated money from the city tax levy and tax increment.

MACCIT Executive Director Christina Slaback said the agreement "simply formalizes the public-private partnership between the MACCIT organization and the City of Milton."

The change appears to give the city more control and oversight of how taxpayer funds are allocated and used by MACCIT.

In a city memo, City Administrator Jerry Schuetz wrote the change will give the city a clearer view of how MACCIT is "addressing its business model in a more challenging economic climate," while showing in greater detail "the return on taxpayer dollars we get from our investment in MACCIT."

Under the new agreement, in 2012, the city would pay MACCIT:

-- $10,000 for 250 hours of economic development work in the city's industrial park, and for 250 hours of work split between the city's Parkview Drive downtown area and the Merchant's Row commercial district.

-- $6,500 for 300 hours of business and tourism promotion.

-- $2,000 in in-kind contributions from city staff for time on MACCIT events and work requests.

All told, the agreement would obligate MACCIT to devote 15 hours a week to economic development work, and business and tourism promotion for the city.

Last updated: 7:11 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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