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BDC works to bring business to Blackduck

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Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Back in the late 1950s, Blackduck community members realized that there was a need to better their community but how? Ideas were kicked around and a solution was found.

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On Feb. 5, 1960, the first members of the Blackduck Development Corporation, individuals concerned with the civic betterment and development of the city, met for the first time.

By the sale of debentures in 1970 to the community, this group was instrumental in constructing a 70-bed nursing home now owned by the Good Samaritan Society.

Land was provided fro a 30-unit elderly apartment building -- also in the 1970s. Assistance was also given and more debentures were sold to aide in the growth of Anderson Fabrics, the largest single employer in the city.

The BDC made available, the lots on which another apartment complex was built for low-to-moderate income renters.

Over the years, the BDC has offered assistance and support to various city projects that have helped Blackduck acquire an ambulance service, doctor, dentist and the group, in partnership wit the city of Blackduck, helped establish the street lighting addition when Hwy. 71 was routed around he city.

Thanks to the efforts of dedicated individuals over the past 30 years, the city of Blackduck has become a viable part of northern Minnesota.

Without this group, Blackduck would not have been able to build the medical clinic. Today's members have also made it possible for Blackduck to keep open, its laundromat, locating a buyer for the King Koin laundry just this past year.

Currently, the group is working toward bringing in more business to the area thus creating jobs.

"There are currently seven commercial properties available within the city of Blackduck," said Blackduck City Administrator Karin Elhard. "These properties are avaliable for development and some for redevelopment."

Elhard, who is also a member of the BDC, is asking commercial property owners to contact city hall if they have commercial property to sell.

"We would take this information -- their name, phone numbers, property description and possible price -- and put it on the city's website free of charge," she said.

The purpose, according to Elhard, would be that in the event someone was looking to acquire commercial property here to establish a business, it would be there.

The Development Corporation recently received a $7,500 grant from the Blandin Foundation to conduct a marketing study to promote economic development for the Blackduck area.

This grant has allowed the BDC to meet with Anchor Marketing to develop a navigation plan which will help the city identify and achieve marketing objectives which includes bringing more business to the community.

Blackduck has grown over the past 30 years making it an attractive place for those who live here as well as for those visitors who come here for relaxation. With more hard work and dedication, this area can also promote more business and growth.

The Blackduck Development Corporation can always use new ideas and different perspectives. If you would like to become a member, you can attend the next meeting which will be at 11 a.m. Jan. 19 at Wells Fargo.

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