Jefferson County Job Development Corp. wants to pay its fair share for staff that work on its projects but are employed by the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency.
A committee of JCJDC board members began meeting on how to streamline economic development organizations on Tuesday morning. During that meeting, the board members looked at changes to an agreement between the two entities.
Corporation attorney W. James Heary presented an administrative agreement in which the JCJDC would pay JCIDA $50,000 for staff time and tasks including creating a budget and filing state reports.
"How many employees are we contracting for?" asked committee member Mary C. Corriveau.
JCIDA and JCJDC Comptroller Lyle V. Eaton said six.
"I assume its about the same amount of work for the JCJDC as the WICLDC," he said. "It's probably a little more for the JCJDC."
The Watertown Industrial Center Local Development Corp. runs the Watertown Center for Business and Industry at 800 Starbuck Ave. It uses the same staff as the JCIDA and JCJDC.
But some staff members do work primarily for the JCJDC, such as marketing director Mary Anne Hanley.
"If Mary Anne is working full-time on marketing, JDC should be paying for her salary and benefits," she said.
The budgets of the JCIDA and JCJDC should also be amended to reflect how much work staff members are doing for each organization, she said, before the JCJDC approves the agreement.
In the past, the agreement between the two agencies led the JCIDA to pay the JCJDC for marketing while the JCJDC paid salaries for staff to the JCIDA. All staff are employees of JCIDA to allow them to enroll in the state retirement system and benefits.
The committee also discussed the structure of the JCJDC, JCIDA and Jefferson County Local Development Corp. and their relationship to other economic development corporations in the county.
"Clearly, the state is headed in a new direction in encouraging the consolidation of local governments and I don't think any of us are going to be immune to that," committee member James W. Wright said.
Instead of waiting for the state legislature to force reorganization, he said they need to look at efficiencies and consolidation.
"There is not going to be any cost savings at this point because we still need the employees," committee chairwoman Michelle D. Pfaff said. "We're trying to figure out if there are any efficiencies in consolidation and allow each agency to be accountable to its own constituencies."
Mr. Wright said fewer board meetings and agendas with the same material would be a start at efficiency. The board members of the JCIDA and JCLDC are the same and all sit on the board of the JCJDC.
Board members and business members of the JCJDC will get questionnaires on the organization's goals and structure. The committee discussed sending it to members of all of the local development corporations in the county, but decided to start with the county-wide agencies first.