Predc Faces Budget Shortfall

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The Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation has fallen on tough economic times. Executive Director Scott Flake said the PREDC is looking at a budget shortfall and has asked Gila County for help.

He said he was not comfortable talking about how much of a shortfall the organization is looking at. Flake said the PREDC is a private, nonprofit corporation, so its budget is not a public record.

However, in the letter to Gila County requesting the assistance, Flake said the organization was looking at a shortfall of $11,000, according to County Manager John Nelson.

Nelson said the request was made after he alerted Flake that the PREDC's sister operation in Southern Gila County was coming to the county for additional financial assistance. He said he invited Flake to let the supervisors know of any needs the PREDC might have.

The county has always supported the PREDC, Flake said.

At the Feb. 3 meeting of the Gila County Board of Supervisors, the amount was set at $16,900. It is before the board again today, Feb. 17, with the amount raised to $19,000, according to the clerk of the board, Marian Sheppard. She said Nelson requested the increase due to the PREDC's projected budget deficit this year and its need to upgrade computer equipment. Nelson added that some of the money will also be used to market some industrial property at the airport.

When the request for additional funds was made to the county supervisors, a "wish list" was included.

"More than half will be used to cover our budget deficit, the rest will be allocated by our board of directors," Flake said.

Among the items on the wish list: a personal digital assistant; a new keyboard; software for tracking contacts; training; promotion of the Arizona Rim Country brand; audio visual equipment for presentations; money for the second annual job fair; funds for more hours for the PREDC clerical staff; and a water exploration contribution.

The funding for the PREDC comes from a variety of sources, including sponsors from businesses and others in the community.

The county money for this request is from Property Tax Stabilization Fund.

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