Polk sets economic development work session date

Published 2:40 pm Monday, July 3, 2017

COLUMBUS – Polk County Commissioners and the Polk County Economic and Tourism Development Commission (ETDC) will hold a work session on July 17 at 5 p.m.

The work session was rescheduled from its previously scheduled May 15 work session to discuss the county’s occupancy tax as well as the future of economic development and tourism in the county.

Commissioners met in June and set the work session after hearing from tourism director Melinda Massey. Massey said she has invited an expert from the North Carolina Travel Industry Association to answer questions. The North Carolina Travel Industry Association is the organization that has written the guidelines that exist in the state regarding occupancy tax legislation, Massey said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Commissioners and the ETDC met on Feb. 4 to discuss the county’s economic development director and the direction the county wants to explore.

The county did not extend economic development director Robert Williamson’s contract at the end of 2016 with county manager Marche Pittman saying at the time the contract was on hold until the ETDC and the new board of commissioners decided what direction the county wants to go in terms of economic development.

Currently, Jim Edwards has taken over economic development duties in the county on an interim basis. Edwards is the former Isothermal Planning and Development Commission Director.

During the Feb. 4 work session earlier this year, ETDC members said they would like for the county to change the economic director position to a full-time county employee. The last few economic development directors have been on a contract basis for the county.

The work session will begin at 5 p.m. in the R. Jay Foster Hall of Justice, located on the second floor of the Womack building in Columbus. Commissioners have a regular meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. following the work session.