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Council votes to overhaul funding for civic development partners

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington City Council members say that economic development is key for the future of the city and now they want to make sure they’re doing all they can to get the most bang for the taxpayers buck.

Tuesday night Wilmington City Council voted 4 to 3 to overhaul the way they divide up money for the city's economic development agencies.

Per the terms of the resolution the city will now divide its civic development partnerships into three categories: economic development, cultural and recreational, or boards and commissions.

Organizations that receive money from the city will be evaluated regularly to see how successful they are compared to other organizations in their category.

"When we're in partnership with these things it's a public private partnership and we feel that some groups may be doing a better job than other groups,” said Mayor Bill Saffo. “It gives us an opportunity to evaluate those groups more thoroughly so that we as a council can make better decisions in giving that money out."

"It does improve the city's image as a city that wants to have additional economic development, and wants to build our job base, and wants to be progressive,” said Councilwoman Laura Padgett.

The resolution also stipulates that the city will now publically advertise invitations to apply for grant money.

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