Awards for Excellence: City of Peoria, AZ

Best Practice in Monitoring Economic Development Performance

 

About Peoria, Arizona

In 2018, the City of Peoria was awarded for their exemplary efforts in implementing best practices in monitoring economic development performance. Like many other suburbs in the Phoenix region, Peoria has experienced a dramatic increase in the city's population, from a population of less than 5,000 in 1970 to a population of over 170,000 today. The City ramped up its economic development efforts in 2010 with the adoption of its EDIS I (Economic Development Implementation Strategy I). In 2016 EDIS II, a successor of EDIS I, was adopted to further the City's economic development efforts. The city's various incentive programs, along with the use of EDIS, resulted in a wave of Economic Development Agreements. Each of the programs had different performance criteria that had to be met and "verified", in order for an incentive reimbursement to occur. With the numerous agreements each having different performance criteria and incentives, it became apparent that the City needed a dedicated staff and a system to "actively" monitor the agreements. The number of agreements the City had entered into during 2015-2016 were too much for current staff to keep up with so the decision was made to create a dedicated position that the sole responsibility was to proactively track and monitor each agreement.

What is EDAMS?

The Economic Development Agreement Monitoring System (EDAMS) is an Access database developed in-house to monitor all city economic development agreements.

The database is set up to track performance milestones and communicate progress to Peoria City Council and other interested stakeholders. This active monitoring ensures safeguards are in place to identify and address problems early. This database also provides a historical record and status of goals for each agreement. In addition to the database, further functionality was added by creating a development agreement layer in the City’s GIS maps and the City’s permitting system where staff can add “notices” to parcels to notify other staff of associated Economic Development Agreements or easements on a particular parcel of land. The City’s Economic Development department went above and beyond to implement and achieve the recommendations of GFOA best practices by developing the aforementioned database and other system enhancements and by hiring a dedicated staff to monitor economic development agreements. Through these efforts the City can now detect problems early and work proactively with developers to ensure successful execution of economic development agreements. 

Key Features

  • The file structure is set up to provide a high level summary of each agreement, detailed reporting of obligations as well as monitoring history for each agreement
  • Status of agreements and compliance checks easily obtained through system reporting capabilities; information easily exported to spreadsheet format
  • System integrated with permitting system (Accela), GIP map, Microsoft Outlook, Financial Systems so that parcels of land can be flagged for multiple purposes

GFOA Best Practice: Monitoring Economic Development Performance

A clearly defined monitoring process should be a part of every economic development policy for the purposes of consistency, transparency, and accountability. Objectives of the monitoring process should include periodic evaluations of individual project performance by incentive and an evaluation of the cumulative costs, benefits, and degree of goal attainment of the jurisdiction’s overall program. The finance officer should be responsible for reporting fiscal impacts for each incentive and the cumulative impact of all incentives on the overall financial condition

Sample Reports Images of EDAMS

Access Database Interface

Development Agreement Obligations Report

Sample Monitoring Letter