Monmouth will delay filling EDC

MONMOUTH -- The city of Monmouth has decided to hold off on appointing replacements for its vacant Economic Development Commission until the role of the entity is more clearly defined.

MONMOUTH -- The city of Monmouth has decided to hold off on appointing replacements for its vacant Economic Development Commission until the role of the entity is more clearly defined.

The EDC is a group created by Monmouth in 2004 of community members and business owners charged with examining commercial and economic development issues.

All six members of the EDC resigned in June, citing communication problems and vague goals from the City Council. That led to major recommendations, such as an approach to building a new city hall, not being adopted, the former members argued.

The council last week opined it wasn't interested in filling the commission until a list of projects or priorities are compiled.

City Manager Scott McClure said the role of the EDC as an advisory body for the urban renewal district might be scaled down, and that a possible focus could be on tourism projects.

The Monmouth-Independence Chamber of Commerce and business community might also be consulted as to how such a commission could help the city, McClure said.

It might not be until September when new members are appointed.

In other city news:

* Monmouth officials approved a resolution which outlines the reimbursements it will receive from the recent debt restructure of the Monmouth-Independence Network (MINET).

The city is owed $1.29 million for a primary fiber optic loop it constructed for institutional use back in 2000, and for buying into the Northwest Open Access Network in 2001.

Monmouth and Independence have also provided a number of loans to help MINET with operating costs in recent years.

Should the restructure's $22 million bond sale go through, the city will receive a lump sum for the entire amount owed, or receive annual payments over 10 years.

* J's Restaurant has become the third establishment in Monmouth to apply for a full "on-premises" alcohol license.

Councilors issued a recommendation last week that the Oregon Liquor Control Commission allow the business to serve hard alcohol.

According to a city staff report, J's owners aren't planning any promotions or special events related to the expanded sale of alcohol, or significant changes to their building at the intersection of Highway 99W and Jackson Street.

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