City Council moves facade grant program from LEDC to Main Street

By Ben Woods

After much discussion, the Linden City Council last week approved a resolution moving the facade grant program from the Linden Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) to Linden Main Street. 
Linden Main Street Manager Allie Anderson discussed with the board the facade grant program that she will now be in charge of, but which will still be funded by the LEDC. 
“This is something that is quite common for Main Street programs to manage, and I was actually very impressed when I came here that you already had a program in place,” said Anderson. “It is a wonderful program to have and it is a great way to incentivize investment in downtown and considering our particular circumstances, our downtown, it is a great way incentivize improvements that might then encourage new businesses to consider moving in.
“The LEDC has been generous enough to continue funding the facade program, which is incredible because it is very difficult for a young Main Street program to come up with funding for a program such as this.”
Anderson explained that she would manage administrative aspects of the facade program but would encourage the Main Street board to be involved to help her work with building owners. 
Mayor Clarence explained that this is not something the city is taking away from the LEDC but something the LEDC is offering the Main Street program. 
Alderman Sue Lazara asked about how much funding would be provided from the LEDC. 
LEDC Assistant Director Beverly Freeman responded, “We did not budget it for this year, but Allie will be making a presentation to the LEDC board at the next meeting.”
Also, Freeman announced during the meeting that there have been 10 applicants for the LEDC executive director position. 
“Ten was an impressive number. We used all the available industry websites to post the available position and we plan to start interviewing very soon,” said Freeman. 
Alderman Ruth Halleck did have a couple of questions for Freeman, which were about applicants the and hiring process. 
“What are your plans with the applicants? Do you plan on hiring someone or bringing those applications to the board for approval, since city council is the ones that are supposed to hire them?” Halleck asked. 
Freeman responded, “Of course we plan on interviewing them -- not all 10, we will take the first two or three that are most qualified and see if we can make any progress there and then we will go to the next group. 
“We have two applicants that are very qualified for this position.” 
Freeman explained that there is a selection committee and they take the resumes and asses the applicants’ qualifications and then take their decision to the LEDC board for approval. 
“The LEDC board hires or fires the executive director and city council is not really involved in the day-to-day operations of the LEDC,” said Freeman. 
Freeman also announced receipt of the audit report of the LEDC the previous Friday. 
“As expected, the LEDC received a clean audit and this was our first time to use a different audit firm from Atlanta, which is Caver and Setser. The audit will be presented before the LEDC for review and approval at the May meeting and copies of the audit will be presented to the council at the June meeting for the council to accept,” said Freeman.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet