City Council Rejects Proposed EDEEN Budget

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Rockford's Economic Development Education and Entrepreneurship Network, or EDEEN, could lose some city funding after aldermen reject the group's proposed budget.

For some of the groups in EDEEN, like the Workforce Investment Board, the council’s decision doesn’t affect them because they've already got multi-year contracts and funding agreements with the city. It’s the smaller organizations like the Midtown District and the River District that would feel the effects. EDEEN’s budget is $3.3 million but around $2 million is already committed to groups like RAVE and the RAEDC. That only leaves about a million dollars to split between around a dozen groups, and aldermen have suggested cutting that down even more.

In the summer of 2012, the city council approved funding these 25 or so groups all together as a way to save city funds. Aldermen are now concerned, there's too much bureaucracy within the group and that's costing the city precious dollars.

“You don’t have to cut to get efficiencies. Sometimes you work harder and smarter and that's how were getting many of these efficiencies. They’re not duplicating work, they’re saying ‘That’s the best practices, that’s' the way I should do this,’ and I think we’re getting the groups as individuals and collectively to work faster, more efficiently,” says RACVB President John Groh.

Groh says members of EDEEN will put their heads together and put together an improved budget proposal to present to the finance committee but he's not sure how long that will take.

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