Funding approved: County commissioners pass $100K for Warren Worx

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton Warren County Commissioners Tricia Durbin and Dan Glotz discuss a resolution to allocate $100,000 to the Warren Worx initiative during Wednesday’s meeting.

The Warren County Commissioners have agreed to contribute $100,000 to Warren Worx.

“This has been discussed a number of times,” Commissioner Tricia Durbin said. “We came up with a structure that will help oversee any of these dollars as time marches on.”

The general idea behind Warren Worx — to be administered by the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry — is the need to develop a central facilitating entity for initiatives and projects in the county. Warren Worx’ first major assignment would be the development of a county brand that can be used by existing organizations to enhance outreach efforts.

Commissioner Ken Klakamp prepared a statement that outlines many of the issues the county faces – population decline, property tax assessment appeals and the expansion in government-owned lands.

That issue was brought into focus recently by the creation of a new State Game Lands in Spring Creek Township.

“Because of the above listed items, the county taxpayers are made to pick up the burden,” he said. “This cannot continue to happen.”

The WCCBI asked both the city of Warren and Warren County to contribute $100,000 annually for three years as part of the initiative.

“So what do we do?” Klakamp asked. “Currently the option of Warren Worx is on the table. Is it the best option? No one knows but we have to do something to draw people and industry into Warren County.”

He made it clear that the county was “not going to give $100,000 and see what happens and let the money be spent without controls in place.”

A resolution approved by the county commissioners Wednesday commits the county to investing “$100,000 over a 12-month period” while making no mention of funding commitments in future years.

The resolution outlines that the funding is contingent on “the hiring of a marketing director and initiation of a branding initiative.”

According to the resolution, the funds will come from the “land sale funds,” dollars the county has held in savings since the North Warren land deal occurred that paved the way for the Warren Commons many years ago.

Klakamp also highlighted the creation of the executive committee composed of two commissioners, two city representatives, two from WCCBI and an at-large member.

“The county commissioners have the option to cease funding if the goals and objectives are not met,” Klakamp said. “If we sit back and do nothing then shame on us.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today