A dormant authority was awakened Monday as county officials appointed a new member to its service, per the request of the Miami Area Economic Development Service.
Judee Snodderly, executive director of MAEDS and secretary for the Ottawa County Finance Authority, requested that commissioners fill a vacancy on the trust — reconstituting the three-member panel.
Snodderly said Tuesday that the request was a matter of housekeeping and that the board needed to be in place in the event that it was again needed as a mechanism to for getting economic development loan dollars into the hands of business owners.
The authority was most recently used as a pass-through panel to get MAEDS loan money to Outdoor Cap. That was several years ago, according to Snodderly, and could explain why county commissioners did not immediately recognize the authority.
Snodderly said it is possible that none of the current commissioners were in office when the authority assisted in the Outdoor Cap project.
County Kenneth Palmer, John Clarke and Russell Earls said they were unfamiliar with the authority and unsure what purpose the panel served.
Commissioners appointed Art Cousatte to the panel, filling a vacancy left when Bill Goodman died a few months ago.
Additional members include Joe Smith and John Finley.
Following are details of the authority as outlined in its trust indenture:
* The authority was first formed in November of 1978 between Dr. L.K. Johnson, Ron Coker and Roland Kropp. At that time, it was called the Ottawa County Home Finance Authority.
* In 1983, trustees voted to change the name of the authority to the Ottawa County Finance Authority. Members of the authority at that time were Sam Grubb, Ron Forkum and Howard Cawyer.
* The trust has seven purposes. They are to:
— assist in making the most efficient use of economic resources and powers in accord with the needs and benefit of the state and the beneficiary (Ottawa County.)
— promote the development of adequate housing within the territorial limits of the beneficiary county.
— provide funds and assistance for the purposes set out in the trust indenture.
— hold, maintain and administer any leasehold rights.
— acquire and maintain properties.
— expend funds.
— to promote and develop hospitals and other health care facilities.
Trustees, appointed from each of the commission districts, serve three-year, staggered terms,
All appointments are made by a majority vote of the county commission.