County supports adding funds for RDC use


On Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council gave support to allow the county’s Redevelopment Commission to do business in an expanded way.

The council, pending a positive review from the county’s financial advisor, will provide $500,000 into the commission’s general fund for continued economic development projects.

The RDC currently only controls funds from the Tax Incremental Fund tied to the Nucor Corridor. TIF money can only be spent in the area that raises those funds. TIF funds have been instrumental in the recent developments along the corridor and has resulted in 1,000 new jobs in new and expanded business projects. Depending upon where a person works, the new job salaries range from $60,000 to over $100,000.

Now, RDC members are asking to use their expertise in other parts of the county to attract new development and in particular to meet the housing shortage in the county. To do so, the RDC requests $500,000 in additional funds to be used outside the Nucor corridor.

Montgomery County Councilman Gary Booth serves on the RDC. He is in favor of supporting the RDC even though early in his political career he was unsure about TIF funding and the administration of those funds.

“I realize a half million dollars is a lot of money,” Booth said. “I want us to invest in things that don’t go away. I want things that will stay in the county and we can build on. We have the jobs, now we need the housing, restaurants, and retail that will keep people here. I have made a 180-degree turn and see how important the RDC is and what can be accomplished.”

Montgomery County Commissioner John Frey also supports the expansion of the RDC funds. He said the way to make the county larger is to invest today.

“Investing in the future should be looked at differently than before,” Frey said. “Great things are happening and we are working with the city like never before. We have an opportunity to capitalize on all the good we have done up to now.”

The council voted in favor of the additional funding but has not decided where the funds will come from. They have options.

The county recently received a supplemental income tax distribution of $755,384. The funds are not budgeted for 2024 because it is unclear when the state will distribute the funds. Also, the county received additional income for public safety in the amount of $523,816.

Another possible funding source will be from the more than $2 million the county has earned in investments. Montgomery County Treasurer Heather Laffoon changed the way the county invests its money which is a reason why investment income has grown.

The council will consult with its financial advisor Jeff Peters. A decision could be made in July.