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Nevada City Council establishes Economic Development Fund

By a vote of 5-0, Nevada City’s City Council passed a resolution Wednesday to establish an Economic Development Fund to support the city’s long-term economic goals.

The funding will be used to finance larger projects that will increase employment opportunities for the city. The city will allocate $100,000 as a seed grant.

Part of that funding came from Measure L, which is a general purpose tax. Portions of that money are also being used to renovate bathrooms and the pool in Pioneer Park.



“We are robbing Peter to pay Paul. I want to do this, but I wish this money didn’t come from Measure L, “ said Vice Mayor Evans Phelps.

“It’s another critical component of what we need to do to maintain a healthy city,” said Council member Robert Bergman, who voiced support for the new fund.




The project encountered some opposition from the public. Nevada City resident Linda Chaplin questioned the allocation of money from Measure L.

“The pool is an important part of the history and culture of the city,” said Chaplin. “I will encourage what you can to leverage funds, I just don’t want the pool to fall through the cracks. There are benefits from the pools that aren’t measured in dollars and cents.”

The city will determine the eligibility of applicants that seek funding. Some criteria are: whether the applicant is using the fund for public benefit and whether the applicant is using the grant for economic activities located in Nevada City.

The city will contribute to the fund annually. Any money not used during the current fiscal year will be rolled over to the next year.

The Economic Development Fund came out of a strategic meeting held by the city council to create an economic plan to grow local businesses in September of 2014, City Manger Mark Prestwich said.

“Some cities have a designated economic development department, we don’t have an individual dedicated to that effort,” said Prestwich.

An accomplishment that came out of that strategic meeting last year was the initiative to create NCForward, a five-point plan that aims to improve public infrastructure and to create investment opportunities.

The Economic Development Fund falls in line with the goals of NCForward.

In other business, the council unanimously approved allocation of a grant to match a grant awarded by the state.

The Economic Development Fund will be used for a $50,000 matching grant toward a $500,000 grant that the U.S. Department of Commerce had awarded Nevada County Economic Resource Council to develop the Sierra Digital Media Campus.

The goal at the end of the day is to “leverage economic opportunities for the city,” said Prestwich.

To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, email tliu@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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