Post Falls considers economic development policy

Budget workshop also slated for today

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POST FALLS - Post Falls wants to make sure the playing field is level when it comes to economic development.

The City Council will consider an economic development policy tonight at 6 .

"I have been working with staff for several months to draft this policy, which will ensure that everyone looking to relocate their business to Post Falls is given the same procedural and possible assistance information," City Administrator Shelly Enderud wrote in a memo to the council.

"The policy would state the city's requirements such as number of jobs brought to town and ask for information on the types of projects and funding sources. The policy also speaks to retention and expansion of existing businesses."

Post Falls does not have an economic development policy, but there's a section on it in the city's strategic plan.

"This policy is designed to engage all parties, including Jobs Plus (recruitment agency), chambers of commerce, cities and the urban renewal agency," Enderud said. "Cities wanting to see economic development usually have a policy to help attract businesses."

The council will also hold a budget workshop at 4:30 before its regular meeting.

Members of the public are welcome to attend, but public comment will not be taken.

Staff is proposing a 1 percent property tax increase, which would generate an additional $89,719 in income, but that is subject to change during the budget process.

The city has more than $2 million available in foregone taxes.

The council and staff will discuss city fees, department budget requests, estimated revenues, online budget priority comments and a proposal to pay for street lights through the general fund rather than as a monthly fee on residents' utility bills.

Government watchdog Larry Spencer made the street light proposal, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1974 distinguishing fees from taxes in that fees are based on usage by individual homeowners and services funded by taxes benefit the general public.

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