Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage has decided not to veto an ordinance passed by a Grove City Council split vote to give $75,000 to downtown business district group Grove City Town Center Inc.

Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage has decided not to veto an ordinance passed by a Grove City Council split vote to give $75,000 to downtown business district group Grove City Town Center Inc.

Council passed the ordinance March 15 by a 3-2 vote after it had been tabled at a March 1 meeting.

Stage said after its passage that he likely would veto the legislation because he had not received proper documentation from GCTC telling his administration how the money would be used.

"I was concerned that the GCTC had not passed a resolution accepting the grant funds under the terms of the agreement," Stage said in a statement released March 25 on the deadline of the veto.

He added he "also wanted to make sure that fiscal responsibility was a major component of the organization's budget.

"I am very pleased the GCTC board has acted on this," he said.

The agreement between the city and GCTC attached with the $75,000 appropriation required that GCTC members create a budget and other planning documents for the city after its passage.

GCTC officials have said since the beginning of March they intend to use the money to create a job position dedicated solely to town center business development.

GCTC wants to affiliate with Main Street, an organization that works to revitalize and maintain historic downtown areas across the country.

That would require a $1,000 annual membership fee for Main Street's "network" program.

Christine Houk, GCTC president, said GCTC officials had set a meeting for March 20 to prepare a budget and other planning documents since the $75,000 appropriation and attached agreement had passed.

"We had seen the draft of the agreement well in advance of the March 1 meeting," Houk said. "We know based on what we saw in the agreement exactly what (city officials) wanted from us."

She said she was "a little bit discouraged" that some council members voted against the ordinance March 15.

"We're excited to get the ball rolling," she said. "I think now people see that we're serious. This financial support is just going to make things easier for us."

According to the organization's 2010 budget, GCTC revenues should total $85,725.

Other than the city's $75,000, GCTC expects to receive a $2,000 grant from Jackson Township.

Business and individual membership dues should generate $5,225 for the downtown group. Fundraisers are expected to add $3,500 to GCTC coffers.

Expenditures come mostly from salaries and benefits for the downtown economic development position. They total $63,193. Another $10,420 would be spent on marketing materials and a Web site.

About $12,000 remaining would be spent on office supplies and Main Street training.

GCTC documents, given to the city, state the organization intends to enlist financial support from community organizations and other governmental entities. Membership will be increased to boost the private investment to the organization, as well, the plan says.

GCTC officials expect that only 35 percent of the organization's revenue will come from the city by 2014.

Houk said the work will continue long after that time.

"Not until we start seeing storefronts filled will we feel like our work has really produced some fruit," she said.

ebrooks@thisweeknews.com