Milton officials are planning to spark business development city-wide by creating a new non-profit organization, Improving Milton Inc.



At Tuesday's City Council meeting, the Articles of Incorporation were approved; however, the organization's mission statement is still in the works, according to Mayor Guy Thompson. Thompson said the idea of forming this group has been discussed for three to four months.



"This will be a great tool for the City," Thompson said. "It will help strengthen businesses, current and prospective."



Improving Milton will be a separate entity from the City, but members of the Board of Directors will be appointed by the Downtown Redevelopment Advisory Committee. According to the Articles of Incorporation, individuals will be admitted to membership by majority vote of the Board of Directors.



At Tuesday's Meeting, council member Wesley Meiss expressed concern about the membership of the organization, stating that it sounds "shady" and "like a closed group."



Milton City Manager, Brian Watkins, said the organization will be for everyone from business owners to citizens interested in local commerce.



Also at Tuesday's meeting, Vernon Compton, a Board Member of Main Street Milton, said Improving Milton appears to "mirror Main Street Milton."



Main Street was created in 2001 to revitalize, promote and improve economic development within the downtown area, according to its website, www.mainstreetmilton.org/



Milton Planner Manager Randy Jorgenson said the difference is that Improving Milton will focus on the City's utility area, including East Milton, Downtown and all other areas of the City.



"It will be business development focused," Jorgenson said.



Improving Milton will be registered as a 501(c)(6) non-profit, which means it can engage in lobbying without jeopardizing its non-profit status.



Watkins said it will take several months for Improving Milton to become officially registered as a non-profit organization and to begin forming its Board of Directors.