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EDC budget to get $100,000 boost

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission will receive a $100,000 boost to its FY 2011 budget thanks to corporate donors to the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce who gave the funds in support of a coalition that will work to keep Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany safe from closure.

The funds, which are part of the budget set to go into effect July 1, are earmarked specifically for the Albany-Dougherty Defense Alliance, which EDC President Ted Clem said will be a coalition of leaders from the government, business and community sectors all focused on ensuring that when Congress begins another round of military base closures, MCLB-Albany is not on the list.

"They're a vital piece of this community and our largest employer," Clem said. "This alliance will work to promote the base and keep it off of BRAC's radar."

The Base Realignment and Closure Committee is expected to reconvene sometime in 2013, although discussions surrounding the viability of certain military installations will likely begin much earlier.

The alliance mirrors one that was established by the Chamber during the last round of BRAC closures.

Outside of the $100,000 increase in funding from the Chamber, the EDC's budget will remain largely unchanged from last year, Clem said.

The EDC's total year-to-year budget is roughly $750,000, with $310,000 actually going to EDC projects and programs. The remainder covers salary and benefits, operating expenses and professional memberships and licensing.

The Economic Development Commission is wholly funded through its three member entities: the city of Albany, the Dougherty County Commission and the Chamber.

The same day Clem pitched his budget to the EDC board, he had to justify funding levels to the Dougherty County Commission's Finance Committee, which is currently going through the county's budget process.

Both budgets will be adopted sometime next month.