Economic Development and Planning Committee meeting
Monday, January 10, 2011, 9:00 a.m.
Assembly Room – Sawyer County Courthouse
Committee Members Attending: Dean Pearson, Warren Johnson, Ken Maki, Tom Duffy,
Others Attending: Scott Allen, Mike Gehrke, Joe Timmerman, Kris Mayberry, Kevin Schoessow, Terrell Boetcher, Sheldon Johnson, Linda Zillmer, Linda Clifford, Sally Schrader,
Meeting called to order at 9:05
Meeting agenda – Motion by Johnson, second by Duffy to approve the agenda with changes to move Sawyer County Economic Development report after audience recognition, and to change the year on the agenda to 2011. motion carried
Minutes of the meeting of December 6, 2010 – Motion by Maki, second by Johnson to approve the minutes of Dec 6, 2010. motion carried.
Audience recognition - None
Sawyer County Economic Development Corporation report - Scott Allen reported on behalf of SCDC. Credit is starting to become more available, and they assisted two local businesses in obtaining loans. A presentation by Wells Fargo indicates interest rates will be rising. Allen attended a meeting in Steven’s Point regarding self-help housing programs and indicates available funding. Three meetings have been held of the regional economic development group being formed. Currently the group includes 14 members. Allen may be requesting a letter of support for the regional development group from the committee in upcoming months.
Department of Commerce – Dagmar Beckel-Machyckova, Not available – Berard will reschedule to another month.
Farmers Markets – Kevin Schoessow, UW-Extension Agricultural Agent provided some history and background of farmer’s markets in Sawyer County. The farmer’s market started at the fairgrounds and has now moved to the Northern Lakes Feed Mill. Schoessow will discuss options for the economic development committee to support farmers market with the market manager and report back to committee.
Superior Days Update – Berard reported that a video conference meeting was held this past month and another will be held in January. Two issues weree submitted: The Hayward Forestry Nursery, and The Opening Date of Bass Fishing Season in the north. Walt Jaeger, Warren Johnson, Berard will be attending. Representatives from the SCDC and Sawyer County Visitors and Convention Bureau will also be attending.
Hayward DNR Forestry Nursery – Timmerman summarized the rough draft of his nursery report (on file) and related activities. Timmerman will be on the committee that will look at cost reports. The date has not been scheduled yet for those meetings. Maki recommended potentially using a lobbying firm to make legislative connections, Berard will check on statutes and legality of using county funds for contracting a lobbyist. Timmerman will draft letter for Maki to send to the Governor and copy the DNR Secretary, Sen Jauch and Rep Bewley.
Duffy left the meeting at 9:55.
Indianhead Community Action Agency report, including Community Development Block Grant housing rehabilitation project, request to subordinate one County mortgage, and status of housing file updates. – Schrader reported a change in CDBG loan committee membership. Shirley Riedmann has joined the committee. They will be meeting this Wednesday to review applications. Schrader is progressing on updating the insurance, and Indianhead will just continue the process they started. Maki received a letter from Myron Schuster indicating that NWRPC will take the files back and update the insurance. Chairman Maki thanks NWRPC for offering to update the files and clear up any discrepancies, but Indianhead has agreed to conduct the updates at their expense and the committee will accept that offer.
Northwest Regional Planning Commission report – S. Johnson reported that files were not destroyed as had been stated, and the Department of Commerce does not certify administrators but attendance of a class is required. Johnson updated the loans made from the NWRED funds. To date $447,000 of loans has been made in Sawyer County. NWRPC held semi-annual meeting in Sawyer County and a presentation on taconite production could lead to economic activity in Sawyer County and regionally. Myron Schuster was re-elected to the Board of the National Association of Development Organizations. Schuster was also appointed to the Be Bold Wisconsin initiative and had input into the new state organizational structure. Jason Lauman was appointed to the inland sea society board of directors as well. The Household Hazardous Waste program was funded for this upcoming year. The all hazards mitigation plan has been forwarded to FEMA and they hope to hear in April regarding the funding. NWRPC is working on a community development planning block grant with a community in the county. NWRPC staff continues to stay updated and ensure representation in the new state development structure. The Northwest Affordable Housing project has been awarded for $542,000 to make housing rehab funds available. Bonnie Carlson and Sheldon Johnson are the contacts for that program.
Hayward Area Visitor and Convention Bureau report including discussion of Sawyer County welcome signs – Linda Clifford shared the new vacation guide. The VCB applied for a tourism information center grant to distribute information from the VCB. Two VCB representatives will attend Superior Days, and VCB representatives will also go to Madison this spring with issues specific to tourism. Maki asked that he and Hal Helwig be notified when the new Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett comes to the area. The committee discussed welcome signs and potential funding sources. Clifford will get a drawing together and bring back to the committee along with proposed budget.
Monthly expense vouchers – Motion by Johnson, seconded by Pearson to approve the monthly expense vouchers, motion carried.
Other matters for discussion only – Maki indicated that Walt Jaeger has a conflict with the second Monday of the month 9:00 am meeting schedule. Can the committee look at the first Tuesday of the month for future committee meetings?
Jim Onarheim reported that fishing shows for Hayward were aired during the holiday season and another will be aired soon.
Motion to Adjourn by Johnson, second by Pearson, motion carried
Recorded by David Berard – 1/10/2011