Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May (center), inks the $1.2 million deal as DADC Chairman Vaughn Irons (left) and County Commissioner Larry Johnson (right) look on.
DeKalb County and the Development Authority of DeKalb County (DADC ) signed an intergovernmental agreement to designate the DADC as the economic development agency for the county.
A document signing ceremony was held March 13 at the Kensington MARTA Station at 3350 Kensington Rd, Decatur,the site of a proposed transit-oriented development.
In addition to its current responsibilities, the DADC will implement economic development programs, such as New Market Tax Credits, small business/entrepreneur loans, and manage the Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund Grant program, among others. The new DADC will manage DeKalb’s Tax Allocation Districts, develop a marketing and branding plan, and create a new business alliance to support the greater business community.
“This is the new way of undertaking economic development. We are stronger when we work together in partnership,” said Interim CEO Lee May. “Other local jurisdictions enjoy widespread success with this model and they are realizing exciting results. With this in place, DeKalb County will be elevated as a major competitor on the local and national stage.”
County Commissioner Larry Johnson, who serves as presiding officer of the Board of Commissioners, said the new partnership will be the engine to expand economic development in DeKalb.
“This partnership gives DeKalb County the tools it needs to ensure the full implementation of the comprehensive economic development strategic plan that we’ve been working on,” said Johnson. “Now, the DADC will have the funding and the staff to take the lead on stimulating new investments, expanding existing industry, and developing sustainable economic strategies for balanced growth.”
Vaugn Irons, chairman of the DADC, praised the partnership.
“The business community and government have always enjoyed a synergy mutual success, but government doesn’t really create jobs by itself. However, government is responsible to create a business friendly environment and that is what is happening here and now,” said Irons.
The DADC will eventually employ a staff of 12, with an annual budget of $1.25 million for the first five years. The team will be led by a president, but until a national search for a qualified candidate can be completed, the Board of Directors of the DADC will act in that capacity.
The DADC will deliver quarterly reports to the DeKalb Board of Commissioners in a public forum on the progress of the implementation of work, and the status of economic development activities.
The intergovernmental agreement with the DADC is the latest in a series of developments designed to streamline operations and create a business-friendly environment in DeKalb County. DeKalb County, for its part, has been improving efficiency in the build permit division, reducing the timeframe for the approval process.