Seneca Development Committee progressing with New Programs

The Seneca Development Committee is progressing with new incentive programs to assist city businesses. Seneca City Councilman Herman Smith chairs the committee and says they are getting close to establishing the business development incentive program and the commercial building improvement program. “We went back and looked at both the commercial business part and the building part and just tweaked it a little bit more. We are getting it finalized and we hope to have it finalized on April 24, what we can offer to our people here for downtown development. Hopefully we will have it in place; it takes two readings, we are hoping to get it in this budget cycle. So, it should be by the end of next month, we hope.” The committee held a productive meeting on Tuesday, continues Councilman Smith. “Destination Oconee Manager Janet Hartman, Finance Director Josh Riches, Utilities Director Bob Faires and Planning and Community Development Director Ed Halbig have done a fantastic job. They have contacted everybody else around, listening to what everybody else is doing. We had a good meeting, people were going back and fourth across the table. Nothing is set in stone, we still have ideas coming out and we can always amend the ordinance after we get it set. So, it is going to grow, we are just going to work on it and it will be a learning process.” Seneca Mayor Dan Alexander says downtown development is important. “It needs to be a destination, there needs to be a reason to go. There are lots of great shops already here and for lots of people that is why they come because the shops are unique and they have something that nobody else has. So, your scope has to be that way. You have to make it a destination. Why do people want to come to the downtown? There has to be something that attracts them downtown.” Once complete, the Seneca Development Committee will present their proposal to the Seneca City Council for consideration and approval.