Marketing Coordinator added to 2019 plans

The Warren County Commissioners have included funding in the proposed 2019 budget for a marketing and development director.

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston pitched the idea during Wednesday’s budget special meeting.

He proposed to take $50,000 from the county’s contingency fund to create the position.

“The goal of this is going to be to hire a marketing and development director or coordinator,” he said. “Basically, through the Marketing Taskforce and Redevelopment Task Force, one of the main tenets… is having somebody to actually do the work of the recommendations. Right now (there is) no entity within the county I personally feel is capable of doing it” and accomplishing the “reasonable” and “important” initiatives.

He proposed that the position would work directly under the commissioner’s office and said he has had conversations with potential partners in the effort who “want to collaborate with the county” and suggested collaboration with the City of Warren.

“The City of Warren has allocated some $50,000 for marketing promotion,” Eggleston said, and are “trying to find a way to utilize it…. They were aware of the Marketing Taskforce report (and) became very interested in that (and) started contacting me about potentially collaborating…. The city and county would split the cost of the employee.

The rest of the funding would be utilized for marketing and development programming.

Eggleston said his proposal would result in the position functioning in promotion for the city 60 percent of the time and 40 percent on the rest of the county. He said the primary focus would be digital efforts.

On the development side, he said the person could be tasked with coordinating the redevelopment authorities in the county and “also being able to work on promoting properties.”

Grant writing would also be a part of the position.

Commissioner Ben Kafferlin said the need in that area is “someone literally putting the figures on the keyboard and writing this stuff up. (I) still see so many (grants) fly by that we don’t even apply for. I think that needs to change. This position would be a key to a lot of those. You are right that recommendations in the report (are)… not going to happen unless someone is tasked with doing it and compensated for that time.”

The position “would lend another set of hands to the commissioner’s office and city government to be a cornerstone of marketing (and development) in the region,” Eggleston added.