Sections

Weather Forecast

Close
Advertisement

JEDC lists goals; Beltrami County Board encourages grant application

Email News Alerts

The Beltrami County Board on Tuesday welcomed a presentation concerning the revamped Joint Economic Development Commission.

JEDC Interim Executive Director Marcus Wiechmann, President Lynette Nieuwsma and Investment Committee Chairman Paul Welle described the JEDC's new goals and directions and the plans to hire a full-time director.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Wiechmann said the transition committee is made up of seven members to chart the new strategies:

E To encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.

E To grow, attract and retain talent.

E To develop and access economic development incentives.

E To market and recruit businesses that will increase the region's prosperity.

The presenters pointed out that Bemidji is rapidly growing into the premier regional center for northern Minnesota. This development requires the JEDC to rethink goals, Wiechmann said. To do so, he said, requires hiring a leader who can concentrate on the new strategies.

"This is a critical time," he said. "The most important thing we can do right now is hire that dynamic person."

Nieuwsma said the JEDC members hope to have the new director in place by mid-January.

Wiechmann said the JEDC has raised $140,000 from the business community to pursue the goals and has $10,000 per year for the next three years pledged by the city of Bemidji.

Commissioner Jim Lucachick, who is the county's representative on the JEDC, suggested the JEDC apply for a County Board allocation of $50,000 from the development grant fund. He said the endeavors of the JEDC fit the development fund criteria of boosting tourism, industrial expansion and agriculture.

However, he emphasized that the funding should not be used for administrative or hiring purposes, only for economic development.

County Administrator Tony Murphy said the development fund contains about $180,000. In 2011, the organizations that received contributions from the development fund were: Beltrami County Agricultural Association (Fair Board), $30,000; Beltrami County Historical Society, $20,000; Blackduck History & Art Center, $6,400; Headwaters Science Center, $7,500; and Paul Bunyan Playhouse, $5,404.

The Beltrami County Board on Tuesday welcomed a presentation concerning the revamped Joint Economic Development Commission.

JEDC Interim Executive Director Marcus Wiechmann, President Lynette Nieuwsma and Investment Committee Chairman Paul Welle described the JEDC's new goals and directions and the plans to hire a full-time director.

Wiechmann said the transition committee is made up of seven members to chart the new strategies:

- To encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.

- To grow, attract and retain talent.

- To develop and access economic development incentives.

- To market and recruit businesses that will increase the region's prosperity.

The presenters pointed out that Bemidji is rapidly growing into the premier regional center for northern Minnesota. This development requires the JEDC to rethink goals, Wiechmann said. To do so, he said, requires hiring a leader who can concentrate on the new strategies.

"This is a critical time," he said. "The most important thing we can do right now is hire that dynamic person."

Nieuwsma said the JEDC members hope to have the new director in place by mid-January.

Wiechmann said the JEDC has raised $140,000 from the business community to pursue the goals and has $10,000 per year for the next three years pledged by the city of Bemidji.

Commissioner Jim Lucachick, who is the county's representative on the JEDC, suggested the JEDC apply for a County Board allocation of $50,000 from the development grant fund. He said the endeavors of the JEDC fit the development fund criteria of boosting tourism, industrial expansion and agriculture.

However, he emphasized that the funding should not be used for administrative or hiring purposes, only for economic development.

County Administrator Tony Murphy said the development fund contains about $180,000. In 2011, the organizations that received contributions from the development fund were: Beltrami County Agricultural Association (Fair Board), $30,000; Beltrami County Historical Society, $20,000; Blackduck History & Art Center, $6,400; Headwaters Science Center, $7,500; and Paul Bunyan Playhouse, $5,404.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
randomness