Stephanie Harris

Paris City Council may have more control over the Paris Economic Development Corp. if its directors approve a recommendation by city attorney Stephanie Harris at Tuesday’s meeting.

The city attorney is expected to recommend a change in the economic engine’s bylaws to require City Council approval of all programs and expenditures of the corporation when directors meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 107 E. Kaufman.

Currently, the economic development corporation’s by-laws provide that the board may expend funds up to a maximum $400,000 on any one project without council approval. However, Harris says state law requires the corporation’s authorizing unit, which is Paris City Council, to approve all programs and expenditures of a corporation and annually review any financial statements.

“We have taken the position in the past that the council’s approval of the budget is sufficient to fulfill this statutory duty of oversight, and some cities take this approach,” Harris said in a memo. “However, in majority of cities, this usually means that each project is included in advance in the budget, and the projects are thus approved in that way.”

In other action, a proposed $102,000 incentive with Huhtamaki to extend Kiamichi rail service from the spur on Center Street is expected to gain approval at Tuesday’s meeting as discussed earlier by directors. Huhtamaki agrees to retain its current workforce of 220 employees.

Directors also are expected to name the southwest business park on Southwest Loop 286 in honor of Paris’ own football legend Gene Stallings. Executive Director Michael Paris made the recommendation earlier this year but directors took no action.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at mary.madewell@theparisnews.com.

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