Thursday, Jul 28, 2016
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Job-creation agency to ask firms to help boost budget

The Lucas County Improvement Corp., a publicly funded entity charged with creating jobs in the county, is planning to solicit local companies to help increase its budget.

Its board members, during a meeting yesterday, discussed creating a tax-exempt organization to which companies and others could contribute.

The board directed its treasurer to investigate establishing a 501(c)(3) organization.

According to the Internal Revenue Service Web site, such organizations must be nonprofit and nonpolitical charities.

Rob Robinson, the chairman of the LCIC's board, said he thought the organization has improved in the past year, but is still confined by its budget.

He said he hoped the plan would be only a temporary way to expand the agency's budget.

The LCIC does not have enough funding to pay for a full-time executive director.

The interim director, Matt Sapara, is receiving a stipend while still on the payroll of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

With private contributions, the organization hopes to hire a full-time director without having to solicit more contributions from local governments, such as Lucas County.

Mr. Robinson said accepting donations from local businesses wouldn't create conflicts for an organization charged with bringing businesses - including possible competitors - to the county.

"The businesses that would support us would have an interest in seeing the pie grow bigger," Mr. Robinson said.

Brian Craig, the LCIC's treasurer, said it likely would take months to register a 501(c)(3) organization with the IRS.

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