If comments during this week's Utah Valley Economic Development Association board meeting are any indication, the Utah Economic Development Corp. can cross the association off its list of prospective members.
The association's board of directors see more disadvantages than advantages in joining the corporation, which was formed last year as a non-profit organization to increase capital investment in Utah and act as a catalyst for job growth.Speaking during Wednesday's meeting, corporation chairman Nick Rose proposed that the association merge with the corporation and become the corporation's office in Utah County. Rose said the state can attract more economic development if entities engaged in promoting economic development work together rather than against one another.
Because of the diversity between what Utah Valley offers compared to other state regions, association board members said, competition should be welcome.
If the association were to become a part of the corporation, Mayor Joe Jenkins said, "We would lose our own identity, we would lose our control and we would lose an awful lot of the things we feel we have here."
Besides, other association board members added, the state already has an economic development office. Board members also expressed concern over whether Utah County interests would receive adequate representation by the corporation.
Utah County's contribution to the corporation, based on an assessment of sales and property taxes, would be about $225,000 annually. The association's 1989 budget in $160,000.
County Commissioner Sid Sandberg said local control of Utah County's contribution to the corporation would be lost.
"We are then at their mercy," he said. "The question we have to ask ourselves is, are we so inefficient at this point that we have to rely on a larger force?"
Association board members postponed a final decision on the corporation's proposal pending further study.