In mid-October, EcoDevo received a website comment that read as follows from an anonymous person:
"Instead of building temporary jobs like sidewalks, or creating overpriced housing, why don't we consider building a jail? As our prosecutor clearly states, it cost $45 to $75 a day to house drug offenders in other counties so we just don't do it unless they are really bad offenders. Instead we let them back out and tell them to pay a fine and stop doing drugs (which they don't and instead laugh at our officials. - Paraphrasing from the attorney generals report on marijuana). I would suggest building a jail and offer to pick up some of the overflow from other counties. This does multiple things, reduces drugs in our county, provides jobs to run the jail, and brings in money from other counties that are too full."
Our Executive Director responded to this comment during our October Focus on Stafford County radio program with host Steve Webster. So, why are we focused on sidewalks and housing lately? We have received grant money for these types of projects and there is not grant funding to build a jail. Fundamentally, the suggestion of building a jail is a good sensible business proposition, but it would most likely take a bond issue from our County to build something like that.
EcoDevo was formed to initiate development in the County and write grant proposals to fund projects. EcoDevo is organized as a 501(c)3 charitable organization which makes the organization eligible for grants. The IRS looked at our various indicators of decline that we lined out in our application and agreed that focusing on things that combat community decline, such as create jobs and address blight, in our context is charitable. EcoDevo's approval as a 501(c)3 also allows us to focus on housing development projects in general. We are not limited to building low to moderate income or senior housing which are common definitions of charitable housing. In our context any kind of housing that addresses combating community decline is acceptable. Therefore, we pursue(d) workforce housing.
For more information on projects we are currently working on, check out our Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Stafford County Economic Development
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