Mayor Harvey Persons updated the council at last week’s community and economic development committee meeting, citing indebtedness held by each entity as to why the two programs could not combine.
City Manager Bill Osborne prefaced the mayor’s update, explaining a memorandum of understanding had been in place between the city and county during 2012 for formation of a new joint economic development agency.
According to Persons, a collaborative group between the city and county has been discussing the issue of combining the two offices of economic development over the past year.
“We looked at different models,” said the mayor, “and there is none out there for cities and counties.”
Chris Pumphrey serves as the county’s director of economic development, while Jeff Noles holds the position for the city.
“They feel extremely positive that what came out was a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which stated the two development authorities would work together, which is ultimately what we wanted,” Persons said.
Working on the previous MOU, which expired Dec. 31, a new document is being developed, he added.
“We would not be able to combine the two,” explained Persons, “but will continue to work together.”
He added, “We’ve shown in the past year, the current structure can work and has worked. We will continue to put Douglasville and Douglas County together.”