M’boro revamps economic group

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 30, 2008

MURFREESBORO – The town of Murfreesboro is looking to revamp their Economic Development Committee.

At Tuesday’s Murfreesboro Town Council meeting, council members agreed to move forward with reviewing and updating the current ordinance regarding the committee and also upgrading the committee to a commission, as they have with other town committees in the past.

During commission reports to council, Town Administrator Cathy Davison suggested council make the current Economic Development Committee into a full fledge commission.

Committees are often appointed by the mayor in order to look into individual problems, whereas commission looks at broader topics concerning the town.

“As Murfreesboro moves past the time of the wastewater treatment moratorium, it would be good to have a group that will review requests from small businesses, developers and franchises that are interested in our community,” said Davison. “This commission would still cooperate with Hertford County Industrial Development Authority, but truly focus on the small businesses in our town.”

Davison noted it would be in the town’s best interest to work with the Chamber of Commerce, Chowan University and the town’s businesses on this front.

The council will also be studying and revamping the town’s current Economic Development Committee ordinance.

The primary purpose of the commission would be to provide a foundation to support existing businesses and widen the business community.

“Economic development isn’t just about industrial development in a rural community such as Murfreesboro, economic development is about supporting and retaining our existing businesses as well as broadening community appeal through tourism, recreation and quality of life for our residents and visitors,” said Davison.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Molly Eubank before giving her consensus.

Councilwoman Gloria Odum questioned if the commission would work like the others.

Davison responded the commission would have to give reports to the council as with the other town commissions.

Councilman Billy Theodorakis asked when the commission would meet.

Davison said that would be up to council upon them reviewing the ordinance.

With council members’ consensus, Davison will be requesting guidance from the School of Government as the roles and responsibilities of the committee is expanded into a commission.

In the upcoming budget, the town has approved $500 for the Economic Development Commission.