Avondale Estates DDA asks for an economic development director

Avondale Estates’ newly revamped Downtown Development Authority recently presented a tentative budget before the city commission asking, among other things, for the hiring of economic development director.

Since taking over as mayor last year Jonathan Elmore has wanted a fully-funded DDA, which must be preceded by an intergovernmental service agreement allowing for the transfer of money from the city to the DDA. Another step towards an IGA was taken Wednesday with the early-version budget.

Tentatively the DDA wants $130,000 up front for marketing, branding and recruitment of businesses. Additionally the Authority has budgeted a tentative $140,000 yearly budget going towards salaries for the economic developer and eventually an events planner.

DDA Chair Matt Delicata said that hiring an economic director was imperative for the city to attract more downtown development.

“Believe me, I know it’s a lot of money,” Delicata said. “But it sends a bad signal if you contact a developer and don’t have a professional [economic developer]. Without that hire we will stay the same.”

After the meeting Elmore said he’d like to have the IGA completed in 90 days.