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CREDC responds to county funding issue


The Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) issued the following press release on Tuesday afternoon in the wake of news that Clark County will no longer help fund the organization:

In a letter delivered this morning, signed by Clark County Commissioners Tom Mielke and David Madore, the Columbia River Economic Development Council was notified that its funding from the county would be terminated immediately due to the organization’s “advocacy” for the Columbia River Crossing project.

In December, Clark County, by vote of the Board of Commissioners, renewed its contract to provide CREDC with $100,000 annually to promote and implement its economic development plan throughout the county.

“This is a very disappointing action on the part of the Commissioners,” commented Bill Dudley, CREDC board chair. “CREDC is one of the few venues available for the private sector to partner with the public sector regarding a broad variety of important economic development issues. To withdraw support from the enterprise based on a single issue is unfortunate.”

While the CREDC will take up this matter at its next board meeting, Dudley noted that the CREDC’s position was the result of substantial discussions among all members of the CREDC board, both public and private. The Council recognized the vital importance of the bridge to economic commerce, and in particular to the region’s ability to attract and retain businesses. No position was taken regarding light rail, however.

While the letter states, “CREDC will herewith not act on behalf of the unincorporated areas of the county or incur any further costs associated with county unincorporated area economic development,” the CREDC will continue to work with the private sector and the cities to promote business growth and to deliver on the aspirations of the Clark County Economic Development Plan, according to Lisa Nisenfeld, CREDC president.

“Clearly such a reduction in funding will have an impact on our ability to deliver services, commented Nisenfeld, “however we are confident in our ability to secure alternative resources.”