At their meeting Thursday evening, the Lubbock City Council approved funding for the North and East Lubbock Community Development Corporation.

The Council approved the $251,068 for the organization, which will come from increasing the City of Lubbock’s sales tax revenue estimation in the current budget.

The NELCDC’s target area is University Avenue east to the City limits and 34th Street north to the City limits.

The group was founded in 2004 with a budget of $250,000 per year, which began to drop after 2007.

The NELCDC plans to hire a full-time executive director, an assistant that would also serve as a credit counselor, and a summer intern.

The group’s projected budget would allot $162,500 for personnel, $8,568 for payroll taxes, $30,000 for their credit counseling program, and $50,000 in other operational expenses.

District 3 Councilman Todd Klein wanted to hold off on the funding and direct the group to research possible public-private partnerships that could help supplement the NELCDC’s funding, but Klein’s motion to table the agenda item did not advance due to the lack of a second.

Deputy City Secretary Thomas Harris spoke for the NELCDC, and said that he believed that a set budget from the City helps to create a focus on business goals in the area, as opposed to having NELCDC staff regularly raising money for the group to increase their own salaries.

The NELCDC has helped to create housing initiatives in the area, specifically the King’s Dominion subdivision. Phase I consisted of 27 lots, and Phase II included 38 lots. The group also offers a Housing Counseling Program, which can provide home buyer education and financial literacy classes for first time home buyers.

Mayor Glen Robertson supported the measure, citing concern over the liability of undeveloped and unsold lots in King’s Dominion reverting back to the City if the NELCDC went under due to a lack of funding.

The Council approved the measure 6-1, Klein dissenting.