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Fired private economic development group responds to county

By Lombardo David
Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Saratoga Economic Development Corporation is not happy its getting dumped by Saratoga County.

On Wednesday, the county officially announced plans to end its relationship with SEDC at the end of the year. The two had been partners for more than 30 years, with SEDC claiming the relationship created 17,500 jobs and $34 million in annual tax revenue for the county.

SEDC President Dennis Brobston has not returned a voicemail from Wednesday, but the group sent out a news release to voice their complaints.

The release claims the county's decision stemmed from SEDC's rejection on March 27 of a request from the county Board of Supervisors to put one of its members on the group's board. On Wednesday, Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman Alan Grattidge,R-Charlton, acknowledged that the county did feel like it didn't have a "seat at the table" when it came to some of the economic development decisions being made by SEDC.

In recent years, according to the release, the county was responsible for about a quarter of SEDC's operating budget. The county is allocating $200,000 to SEDC this year.

Addressing a criticism from Grattidge, that SEDC has focused too much on its private contributors, the release said, "SEDC has steadfastly and unequivocally committed itself to furthering the economic development needs of Saratoga County."

"From its inception SEDC has been a membership based organization created to leverage funding from both private and public sources," read the release. "Our members believe supporting the economic growth of our County is critical to the overall success of the business community and their partnership has provided more than financial support."

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