Pelham disbands IDB in favor of CDAPublished 5:03pm Thursday, March 6, 2014
By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
PELHAM—In the coming weeks, Pelham will disband the existing Industrial Development Board in favor of a five-person Commercial Development Authority, confirmed city officials. This move is aimed at attracting new business, namely retail, to Pelham.
“The IDB only supports certain types of businesses,” said Pelham City Council President Rick Hayes. “The CDA allows a lot more flexibility to go after the types of opportunities we need for economic development.”
Pelham City Council member Ron Scott echoed this sentiment in a March 6 phone interview.
“The CDA will give us a better vehicle to recruit retail commercial activity, according to recommendations from our attorneys,” said Scott.
Both Hayes and Scott expect a smooth process for creating and implementing the CDA. The IDB is currently dormant, and according to Hayes it has “sat unused for the last five years.” Furthermore, six of the seven board members’ terms have expired.
Rather than filling six spaces, the CDA only requires five members. The city is currently selecting a group who can then formally apply to form the CDA.
“We have a very talented group of people in Pelham who volunteered and want to help,” said Hayes.
Scott said this type of move has been successfully carried out in other communities, giving Pelham “fine models” and “best practices” to look to.
Both councilmen expect the CDA to be formed and functioning by mid-April. Scott indicated that it would be “up and running in six weeks.” Once created, the CDA is expected to actively meet with and seek out businesses. Scott said the city also aims to “enhance marketing efforts” to draw business into Pelham.
“We have some potentially very fine sites for retail in the town. We want this group to meet with landowners, developers and retailers,” said Scott.
Additionally, Hayes said he regularly receives calls from businesses that “want to get more involved.”
“Opportunities are sitting out there that are more suited for the CDA,” said Hayes. “This is a very interesting and exciting time for Pelham.”