Redevelopment group won’t get additional county money

The answer to the Brown County Redevelopment Commission’s request for funding in 2017: No.

RDC member Bruce Gould brought the question before the Brown County Commissioners Aug. 17.

For 2017, the county council and commissioners agreed to not budget anything for the redevelopment commission.

Gould said the RDC has been tasked with creating jobs and housing for young families and professionals, but the commission needs to be able to invest in infrastructure improvements — such as running sewer lines — to accomplish that.

For some proposed projects — like refurbishing entry-level houses to provide places for workers to live — the commission needs to have money readily accessible, Gould said.

“You’ve got $400,000-and-some, don’t you?” asked commissioners President Dave Anderson, about the $417,000 the county received from the sale of the former For Bare Feet factory near Helmsburg in 2014.

The RDC has control over that money, but hasn’t announced any plans to spend it.

“We could run through that pretty quick. That’s one sewer line right there,” Gould responded.

In 2016, the county commissioners and council had set aside $30,000 for the RDC. Unlike the sock factory money, any of that money that isn’t spent, the RDC doesn’t get to keep.

As of the end of August, the commission hadn’t spent any of its 2016 budget, but plans are in the works to spend $10,000 to $15,000 for a website.