Following a split vote on the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) 2017 budget at a prior city council meeting, councillors found they had more unanswered questions regarding the organization’s processes and practices at their Nov. 28 meeting.
Council has directed administration to meet with the JEDI management team to review options on how sustain and maintain the program while ensuring financial responsibility.
City manager Dave Burgess says JEDI reconciles the development tax share with its partners through a formal percentages agreement. He added the fact JEDI does not share its business rates with the city, which has been a point of contention.
Since the City of Wetaskiwin joined JEDI it has invested $1.5 million into the program and paid an additional $38,000 in tax sharing.
Coun. Wayne Neilson says he is still in support of JEDI but does have concerns regarding investment verses rate of return. “We’re investing a fair chunk of change on behalf of the community. But it seems to me there’s two many unanswered questions on the process.”