CHENANGO COUNTY – The Chenango County Department of Planning and Development is taking measures it says will help prevent abuse of funds granted to local nonprofits for economic development purposes.
Chenango County Planning Director Donna Jones met with the Planning and Economic Development Committee on Tuesday to discuss pending changes to policies and procedures related to economic development grants. Each year, the Planning Department allocates tens of thousands of dollars in grants – which are taken from an account fueled by the county's general fund – to nonprofit entities for the purposes of business development, business promotion and infrastructure improvement.
But without strict guidelines in place, the county has little oversight for those funds after they are awarded, Jones explained. It's possible that agencies receiving grants through the Planning Department's capital project account are not using that money for its intended use and rely too heavily on the county for more money year after year.
“There has to be some accountability on the part of entities that receive money,” said Jones. “The hope is to set parameters for this account so there isn't a question of funding entities that come back several years in a row.”