The following is a statement from Jody Hoener, the Bourbon County Economic Director, in regards to recent activities of the Bourbon County Economic Development Corporation.
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“Currently, there are three economic developers in our community. The City of Fort Scott employs two, with community and economic development directors, and Bourbon County employs me as the county-wide economic development director.
“Consolidating services between the City of Fort Scott and the County has been discussed in depth with departments like public works, human resources, and economic development.
A group of community members researched potential cost savings in addition to best practices as modeled by similar communities.
A recommendation was presented to BEDCO to develop a private/public partnership in order to consolidate economic development to one director, under a single entity, with broad representation from each of the six cities, the county, and taxing entities.
Bourbon County has committed to funding this position. I believe it is the hope that all entities, including the City of Fort Scott, will see the benefit in this model and participate likewise.
While I am fully aware that my current position will be eliminated, and have no preconceived notion that I will be gainfully employed in the new position, I fully support the decisions made by the county commissioners and BEDCO Board. I have been encouraged to apply for the new position, along with other incumbents in Bourbon County, once it is posted.
The move is in the best interest of the entire community and is one step in the right direction toward building a better business climate.