Waynesboro Works on Economic Development

By: Meg Gatto Email
By: Meg Gatto Email

The Waynesboro City Council is taking steps to maintain a steady economy in the city, despite current trends.

In a meeting with the Economic Development Authority Friday, council members made it clear they're going to continue recruiting new businesses to make sure money keeps flowing in the River City.

Don Morris, the owner of Valley Framing Gallery, has felt the strain on his art gallery these past few months.

He says, "We see less and less people. Used to call them out of towners, or vacationers, the day trippers. We used to see quite a bit of traffic from the D.C. area, whatever and we don't see that as much."

In Friday's meeting, city council met with the EDA to determine if the agency should be independent of the city. While still working on an agreement, the council and the EDA did come to one conclusion: they need to strengthen their ties to help local businesses.

City council woman Lorie Smith explains, "We just want to make sure here in Waynesboro that we are keeping our eye on progress and that we're working within our means and that we're protecting the tax payers dollars and expand our tax base when we have the opportunity to do so."

Smith explains that the goal of Friday's meeting with the EDA was their need to look to the future.

"I believe that we need to look outside of the parameters of just what we've relied on in the past to be competitive and we need to be aggressive in terms of trying to attract higher paying wages," says Smith.

The council and EDA are still in talks to determine if the agency and it's director should become its own private entity. Smith says, while funding for the agency is still being discussed, the council is already setting some money aside to give it.

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