Dollars steered to economic development projects

May 24, 2011

By Staff

King County leaders scrapped the outdated Economic Enterprise Corp. and directed funds from the program to economic development programs throughout the region.

The legislation approved May 2 by the County Council directs almost all of the $95,000 remaining in the corporation to be disbursed to smaller projects.

The beneficiaries include $10,000 for the Puget Sound Regional Council — the planning authority for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties — to update a regional economic strategy and $20,000 for the county Department of Natural Resources and Parks.

“This small investment can make a big difference for our economy,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, a co-sponsor of the legislation and the Issaquah representative, said in a release.

Created in 1984, the Economic Enterprise Corp. issued industrial revenue bonds to economic development in the county. The agency issued bonds totaling more than $48 million and created more than 600 jobs.

State lawmakers created the Washington Economic Development Finance Authority in 1990. The statewide agency served the same purpose as the county’s Economic Enterprise Corp. Eliminating the county agency eliminates duplication and saves money.

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