Economic Development and Planning Committee meeting
Monday, February 7, 2011, 9:00 a.m.
Assembly Room – Sawyer County Courthouse
Committee Members: Warren Johnson, Dean Pearson, Tom Duffy, Ken Maki,
Others: John Saunders, Joe Timmerman, Linda Zillmer, Mike Gehrke, Herb Seeger, Terrell Boetcher, Dave Berard, Kris Mayberry, Scott Allen, Linda Clifford, Sheldon Johnson, Sally Schrader
Chairman Maki called the meeting to order at 9:00 am.
Meeting agenda – Motion by Johnson, seconded by Maki to approve the agenda as published. Motion carried
Minutes of the meeting of January 10, 2011 – Motion by Johnson, second by Duffy to approve the minutes of the January 10, 2011 meeting. Motion carried
Audience recognition - none
Hayward forestry nursery – Motion by Maki seconded by Pearson to approve the report as submitted by Mr. Timmerman. Timmerman is scheduled for Superior Days training on Thurs and is prepared to go down to Madison for the Superior Days. He has not heard from the DNR regarding their one day committee meeting, Timmerman will let the committee know when he confirms the date. Maki encouraged the DNR committee to include a member of the LCO Tribe to participate in the committee.
Heating county buildings with wood pellets – (including heating the new transit garage with pellets to keep heating expenditures in the county) Maki indicated that nearby county owned fuel could be used to heat the facility for its natural life. We have a wood pellet manufacturing facility in the county and it would make sense to keep the heating dollars in the community. There is a need to also discuss heating the jail with pellets as well. Herb Seeger indicated that his company produces the fuel that pellet furnaces would take. Seeger would be willing to discuss options to pelletize county wood. There are other local options to pursue. Berard will bring back some vendor contacts to the committee. Motion by Johnson that the transit committee strongly consider using pellet fuel to heat their new facility. Second by Pearson, motion carried.
Update from mining meeting regarding northern Wisconsin and the UP – Maki updated the committee on the informational meeting that occurred in Ashland. A very optimistic projection of what can be accomplished. The company is expected to hire 600 people as soon as the mining permit is issued. Discussion
Indianhead Community Action Agency report, including Community Development Block Grant housing rehabilitation project – Schrader handed out the updated list of grant approved projects. She is continuing to update insurance policies, and they have loaned out approximately $175,000 and expect to loan at least $100,000 in the next couple of weeks. Mayberry indicated that a subrogation request was approved by the CBDG loan committee and asked what role the economic development and planning committee wished to take in future subrogation requests. Maki responded that the county CBDG loan committee is setup to deal with the issues.
Northwest Regional Planning Commission report – Sheldon Johnson noted that he is working on an LCO redevelopment project that will provide background information for a federal grant. NWRPC continues to monitor state and Department of Commerce economic development meetings as economic development and the Department of Commerce is restructured.
Duffy left at 10:00 am
Sawyer County Economic Development Corporation report – Berard summarized a written report delivered by Scott Allen who had a conflict with another meeting. Report received and on file.
Hayward Area Visitor and Convention Bureau report including proposal for welcome sign - Cheryl Treland and Linda Clifford reported on behalf of the VCB. Treland indicated that the VCB board has 23 members and is county wide. It includes representatives from lodging restaurants, attractions, events and geographic distributions. The VCB is the umbrella for marketing and chambers and lakes associations are marketing partners. Treland will attend Superior Days attendance to present the issue with the Bass season opener. Treland shared responses to the conservation congress regarding Sawyer County bass regulations. County citizens will have an opportunity to provide input through the Conservation Congress public hearing process in April. The VCB will connect with ITBEC Tourism committee to see if there is value. Berard will invite ITBEC representative to April meeting for an update on their overall programs. Clifford reported on signs, costs range between $2900 and 5400. She shared that the Winter sign which was done for about $49. Locations and ordinances involved would have to be determined. Committee recommendation to look at starting with a couple signs and expanding if needed. Next month Linda and Sherrie will be attending the state tourism conference.
Monthly expense vouchers – Motion by Johnson, second by Pearson to approve the vouchers as submitted. Motion carried.
Other matters for discussion only
Berard shared key employment statistics and manufacturing information. 2008 data indicates Wisconsin ranks 3rd in the nation in percentage of our economy resulting from manufacturing behind Indiana and Iowa.
Key Statistics – December
Unemployment (not seasonally adjusted)
Sawyer 10.6% 9.6%
Wisconsin 8.3% 7.0%
US 9.7% 9.1%
Quarterly Workforce Indicators
Sales Tax Data was also provided indicating a slight year to date increase from January 2010 to January 2011 (on file).
Motion to adjourn – Motion by Johnson, second by Maki meeting adjourned.