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UCDA explained

Published: Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017 10:41 a.m. CDT

We get questions all of the time asking about what we do, what projects we are working on, what role we played, etc. And, although some projects are confidential, that does not mean we can’t do a better job of clearing up any misconceptions about the organization. I hope this series of articles will help provide some clarifications for you.

Union County Development Association (UCDA) is a county-wide 501(C) 6 nonprofit organization. In a nutshell, we work to add and retain jobs, expand the tax base, attract private capital investment and continuously improve the business climate and quality of life in Union County.

Although we are a nonprofit, we are not a charitable organization. We are not a governmental entity. However, 18 percent of our budget does come from the public funding council that is currently made up of the city of Afton, city of Creston and the Union County Board of Supervisors. This is their opportunity to pool their limited financial resources and purchase the services of UCDA to represent them in all economic development projects. These funds are then leveraged with private investors (16 percent), program revenue (9 percent), grants, interest, other income (3 percent) and finally revenue generating assets (54 percent). The largest portion of revenue for the organization is due to our investment into both residential and commercial real estate. Any additional investor revenues will go toward program development and marketing initiatives.

So that is a picture of our revenues. Now let’s look at our expenses. Like many businesses and organizations, the largest part of our budget is attributed to payroll. UCDA now employs two full-time employees with a combined salary and payroll taxes representing 52 percent of the budget. Marketing/programs/project represent 13 percent, overhead (11 percent), insurance (7 percent), depreciation (9 percent), loan interest (2 percent), other expenses (5 percent), and property taxes (1 percent). Yes, UCDA pays property taxes on all the real estate we own. This is uncommon for a nonprofit organization, but the UCDA Board of Trustees feels it is necessary for us to feel the burden just as a private business or individual would.

So how do we allocate staff time? Up until this year, I was the only full-time staff dedicating my time to each of these areas; Business development (Grow UC) 30 percent, housing development (At Home UC) 35 percent, workforce development (Work UC) 25 percent, asset marketing (Discover UC) 10 percent. Moving forward with our new Marketing Director Mindy Stalker, we will be able to balance that time in all of the areas. I oversee business & housing development and give direction to Mindy as she oversees the workforce and asset arketing areas. All combined, UCDA offers directly or indirectly over 20 different programs and services along with working on anywhere from 8 to 10 different projects at any given time. In future articles, we will dive deeper into each area of our strategic plan.

As always, you are welcome to visit our office or call with any questions you have about UCDA. We believe in transparency and will do our best to share with you information about our programs, services and ongoing projects.

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