Now only a two-municipality body, the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) budget was approved by the County of Wetaskiwin for $303,279.
The decision came during council’s Feb. 6 meeting. The budget was approved by the JEDI board of directors on Jan. 23 and the matter is scheduled for the Town of Millet’s Feb. 14 meeting.
Within the budget is the county’s contribution of $243,057 (85.2 per cent) and town’s contribution of $42,221 (14.8 per cent). “These are based on population figures,” said JEDI director Joan Miller.
Another $18,000 was transferred into the budget from JEDI reserves.
Miller says the reserves are an accumulation of funds contributed by the county, the town, and former member City of Wetaskiwin.
The $18,000 was needed to help assist in covering additional legal fees addressing updates to JEDI’s agreements and bylaws; many needed amending following the City of Wetaskiwin’s decision made last year to cease its participation for 2018 and onward.
Miller says the organization felt it would be fairer to use reserves to cover the legal expenses rather than having the two remaining municipalities foot the bill.
“The total municipal contributions have been reduced by $36,796 from last year,” said Miller.
JEDI board member per diems were also dropped from $150 to $100 per meeting. The decrease was recommended by the board, as it was felt the meetings were not long enough to justify the higher rate.