CORTLAND CITY COUNCIL Mayor keeps enthusiasm for CIC

Although council rejected legislation, Moll believes the program is important.
CORTLAND -- Mayor Curt Moll says he's been talking with council members to resurrect legislation he believes will maintain and attract businesses to the city.
"I think we have an obligation to pursue that," Moll said of legislation creating the Cortland Improvement Corporation.
Creation of the corporation with at least 10 board members was turned down at city council's Sept. 6 meeting. Councilman Michael Hillman was the only lawmaker in favor of the measure.
The legislation was rejected after hearing some residents and Councilwoman Deidre Petrosky criticize the proposal at the meeting.
Some argued that it's not known how many city dollars would go toward supporting the CIC and charged that the board members would be made up of "good old boys" rather than through an appointment process.
Moll countered that the nonprofit CIC could not receive any funds without council's approval and that representatives of the group would include city officials.
Continued work
"It's not a dead issue, not with me," Moll said Tuesday, noting that about 20 business representatives worked on the proposal.
The mayor said he doesn't know how to resurrect the issue but has been trying to have a dialogue with council members "to make it work."
One of the first items on the CIC's agenda would have been to perform an inventory of businesses to retain them and an inventory of available properties for businesses that may want to move here.
City growth will continue without the CIC, Moll said, but there won't be a focus on marketing business opportunities.
Asked about creating a business association outside of the government, Moll responded that he didn't want to compete against service organizations, such as the Kiwanis and Lions.
The mayor stressed that Cortland is a small town and doesn't have a regional influence. This, he pointed out, creates a "big gap" between the city and the Regional Chamber. The big chamber doesn't focus just on Cortland.
Moll said he's trying to come up with a proposal that council will approve, which will use the CIC framework.

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