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BDC looks to fund community facilitator position in Blackduck

The Blackduck Development Corp. is looking to fund the Community Facilitator position for longer than the two years it is currently implemented.

Grant funding was originally the plan. However, the BDC and current Community Facilitator Ryan Grow have found that may not be an option.

Right now, the position is funded by the BDC, the city of Blackduck, Blackduck Public Schools and a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.

No funding after the two-year term has been announced.

According to Grow, when applying for grants most foundations will need a dollar amount to match.

“I have no numbers, knowledge or facts to go by when applying for future grants, so it makes it very difficult at this stage,” Grow said at the BDC’s regular monthly meeting.

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation will not continue funding the position unless a specific project is set up within Blackduck.

Other grants have been applied for and similar responses have been received, including one from the Blandin Foundation.

“A lot of grants won’t fund a position that’s in it’s second stage of existence,” Grow said. “A lot of them will fund startup but to go forward most of them need to have some sort of project associated with it.”

The BDC, the city and the school originally did not plan to fund the position beyond the its first two years, but hoped for grant funding.

“I’d like to see who is rejecting,” BDC President Karin Elhard said of the grant foundations. “We need to get a better understanding of who is saying what so we can better understand if this (grant) is a possibility or not.”

The original letter of employment of the position states if funding isn’t found it will end March 31, 2015.

“They were very adamant that that was included in his letter of employment acceptance,” Elhard said on behalf of the city.

The BDC has agreed they would like to see a presentation from Grow containing what the position has done for the community at their next monthly meeting.

He will also present to the city and school to look for additional funding.

“It’s understandable to want to see some measurable outcomes so we can see what we’ve accomplished,” Wally Schoeb, BDC member, said.

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

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