The Manhattan City Commission discussed the future use of economic development funds, Tuesday.
A resolution passed with the 2012 sales tax initiative provided guidelines for how future Commissions should spend the money, including 65 percent dedicated to “company incentives and infrastructure improvements”.
Questions have been raised recently regarding how the Commission has interpreted “infrastructure” in the last couple of budgets, but Mayor Wynn Butler said previous funding decisions have all matched the intent of the tax initiative.
“When that was written, it was wide open and it did specifically say things like ‘amenities, quality of life’ and so, as far as I’m concerned, we put Downtown Manhattan Incorporated, Wolf House (museum) and Manhattan Arts Center, because it fits that definition.”
Commissioner, Karen McCulloh said her only concern was that economic development funds be spent wisely so that future Commissions have enough resources to attract new businesses to Manhattan.
“That company that really makes sense and just a little added financial support sort of pushes them our way instead of some place else.”
The Commission also gave suggestions to City Staff Tuesday on how to forecast the usage of economic development dollars for the life of the tax, which is scheduled to sunset in 2022.