Westminster group gets council encouragement

March 15, 1994|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer

The Westminster City Council offered encouragement and the prospect of financial support to the Greater Westminster Development Corp. (GWDC) at last night's council meeting.

But the council agreed by consensus -- despite pressure from Councilman Stephen R. Chapin Sr. for an immediate decision -- to consider the corporation's request for $50,000 with other 1994-1995 budget requests.

A council budget work session is tentatively set for mid-April.

The corporation is an organization of city officials and business leaders whose goal is to support existing businesses and try to attract new ones.

Council President Kenneth A. Yowan asked council members to consider giving GWDC $10,000 immediately, with a commitment of up to $40,000 more on a dollar-for-dollar match with money contributed by the private sector.

Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein asked for an opportunity to talk with GWDC representatives before voting on the organization's aid request.

"I've learned from my colleague Mr. Chapin -- always ask about the money," she said, adding that $50,000 is the equivalent of 1.6 cents on the city tax rate.

"This is a council that has never raised taxes. I'd like to stay in that mode," she said.

Ms. Orenstein also won council approval to organize a committee that will try to open a farmer's market in downtown Westminster.

Baker Heinz Luesse said a farmer's market could "bring a little bit of life in town that doesn't cost us $50,000."

Thomas K. Ferguson, GWDC chairman, told the council Feb. 28 that the organization will hire an executive director as one of its first moves. The group plans a $90,000 budget in its first year, $50,000 from the city government and $40,000 in industry donations, grants and in-kind services.

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