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City to fund economic development director hire

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Daily Press Staff Writer

After a lengthy discussion, Artesia City Councilors approved funding for the creation and hiring of an economic development director to attrract business owners to Artesia.

Following a filibuster attempt enacted by three councilors, the council passed a motion approving $100,000 annually for up to three years to the Greater Artesia Economic Development Corporation (GAEDC) to cover benefits, salary and travel expenses for the employee, who would work for the Artesia Chamber of Commerce.

“There are a number of things that aren’t getting done (with regard to economic development in the city),” said Mayor Phillip Burch. “One of them is the industrial park.”

In the recent past, the city has made a substantial investment in courting new businesses to the city through the development of the industrial park north of Artesia.

“We’ve spent a lot of money running utilities to attract some new tenants — it hasn’t worked,” the mayor said. “(One responsibility of this postion will be to) monitor, encourage and really go out and campaign for businesses to move out into the industrial park.”

The mayor also cited the recent construction of a Lowe’s Store in Carlsbad as motivation for the hiring of a person soley devoted to making Artesia visible to corporations.

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