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Grow resigns as community facilitator in Blackduck

Ryan Grow, community facilitator for the city of Blackduck, has resigned after working in the position for more than a year.

The Blackduck City Council accepted Grow’s resignation at their regular meeting on Monday. He thanked the council and Christina Regas, city administrator, and said that an opportunity has opened for him to work in the field that he studied while attending Bemidji State University.

“Thank you and I wish the best,” Grow said. “I’m here for any questions going forward for any help or anything like that.”

Grow’s last day in the position will be Aug. 29.

While in discussion on the future of the community facilitator position, the council had split views on whether it was necessary to continue with it.

The position is partly funded by a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, the Blackduck Development Corp., the city of Blackduck and Blackduck School District. The contract and funding from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation end March 31.

Mayor Daryl Lundberg asked council members for their opinion on filling the position for the rest of the contract, not knowing whether it would continue beyond March 31, or if they wanted to “step back” since Grow resigned.

“The way that I read the Joint Powers agreement is if the entities decide to dissolve, then we would pay the Northwest Minnesota Foundation back and then the remaining funds would be separated between the two entities of the school district and the city,” Regas said.

Sam Christenson, who joined the council in early May, said the position needs to exist in the Blackduck community.

“I think it should be housed, supervised and primarily funded by the school district and the city should be a partner with the school and the funding mechanism,” said Christenson.

Council member Rudy Patch said that a lot of the activities created by the position have already existed at one point in Blackduck.

“My opinion is, not knowing what’s going to happen at the end of the term, ... I don’t think that it’s that valuable of a position,” Patch said. “I think it’s more based toward the school.”

Lundberg said that the biggest matter is the funding with the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.

“I feel like we just need to stay the course and fulfill our contract and then address it because I understand where Rudy’s coming from because before this ever got advertised, that was the city’s concern about the liability that we inherit if somebody comes, goes, leaves, gets laid off, or doesn’t continue, but between the grant money and the Joint Powers board I mean we’ve kind of made our bed,” Lundberg said.

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation suggested that the Joint Powers board meet and make a decision on whether to fill the position or not, according to Regas. The Joint Powers board met on Wednesday to discuss the issue but couldn’t make a decision because the BDC wasn’t able to meet before the meeting.

“I think Ryan has done a fabulous job and to say that the school gets more benefit than the city, I don’t know if I totally agree with that because I think your school and your city in a small town have to be like one,” said Bob Klug, public works supervisor and School Board member. “He was housed at the school but he’s done a lot of other stuff besides just at the school for the kids of the community.”

At the end of the discussion, the council agreed to be in support of filling the position.

More from the neeting:

● The council also agreed to donate $920.36 to the Blackduck Area History and Art Center to assist the organization in paying bills.

● A public hearing regarding repairs to Fourth Street Northeast will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 13 at City Hall.

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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