Friday, December 28, 2012

What Has Livingston Gotten for SPARK Investment?

The one-year anniversary of the deal between Ann Arbor SPARK and Livingston County is coming up. Isn't it time for the Livingston County Board of Commissioners to ask what the results have been so far?

The county last winter approved a three-year deal to pay Ann Arbor SPARK $333,880 annually to promote economic development in Livingston County. That' on top of thousandsmore chipped in by a dozen townships and cities. With almost a third of that spent, what have taxpayers gotten for their money?

It doesn't sound like too much, based on this story in the Livingston Press and Argus, especially this quote:

"We're just really looking forward to ramping up our retention and economic work within the county," said Mike Kennedy, chairman of the EDC board. "We're extremely excited."

Almost a third of the contract is up and the staff is still "looking forward to ramping up" work? I would think the "ramping up" would have been done in the first few months and that by now things would be in "full swing" mode."

This is disappointing and not a sign that taxpayer dollars have been well-spent so far.

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