I want to give the historical facts concerning the history of the Community Development Corp. and Progress Alliance, which were created for economic development in Jefferson County.
The CIC was created in 1963 by 21 individuals in Jefferson County. The purpose was to advance, encourage and promote the economic and civic development of the Steubenville area. Then, in 1997, the Jefferson County commissioners passed a resolution that states the following:
Create the Jefferson County Office of Economic Development pursuant to Section 307.07 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Elect pursuant to Section 307.07 A(3) of the Ohio Revised Code to enter into an agreement with the Community Improvement Corp. of the Steubenville area for the performance of economic development activities within the county.
Incorporates duties and obligations of the board of commissioners and CIC relative to the operation of the county's Office of Economic Development.
Part of this agreement was to form an alliance called Alliance 2000 and which was later renamed Progress Alliance.
This alliance was created as a subdivision of the CIC. The CIC, through Alliance 2000, now Progress Alliance, was required to make periodic reports and financial data available to the county, and the county commissioners were to hold final authority over all contract issues and projects involving county real or personal property. The CIC was granted the authority to exercise all economic development powers authorized under the Ohio Revised Code on behalf of Jefferson County.
The agreement states the following: "The City of Steubenville the county of Jefferson and the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce desire to form an alliance for the economic development of the Steubenville area, including all of Jefferson County. The said city and county may give financial assistance to the CIC."
The commissioners authorized the CIC to operate Alliance 2000 (now known as Progress Alliance) for projects on behalf of the county of Jefferson, the city of Steubenville and the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce so long as its reasonable and anticipated expenses of operating said programs were defrayed by the parties desiring the said CIC to operate.
So, basically, the county commissioners created the office of economic development and then granted the CIC, through Progress Alliance, the right to operate the county's office of economic development.
This sums up the complicated historical development of the CIC and Progress Alliance.
We now have a port authority that has more legal and financial powers for economic development.
The CIC and Progress Alliance have brought us to this point and, for the most part, have done a very good job. Whether we are all in agreement with the previous statement no longer matters. The port authority is here and was created at the suggestion of the CIC. Unlike the CIC, no politician can be a board member, which I think is good.
It is time to put any ideological differences behind us and, hopefully, unite for the purpose of economic development in Jefferson County.
(Graham, a resident of Wintersville, is a Jefferson County commissioner.)