Economic Development and Planning Committee Minutes
Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 1:30 p.m.
Assembly Room – Sawyer County Courthouse
Committee Present – Warren Johnson, Ken Maki, Tom Duffy, Dean Pearson, Hal Helwig
Others: Sally Schrader, Foley Quinn, Sheldon Johnson, Don Mrotek John Leighton, John Saunders, Stan Walczak, Ned Zuelsdorf, Kris Mayberry, David Berard
Meeting agenda: Motion by Johnson, second by Duffy to approve the agenda with a correction to the date of the Feb 7 meeting listed on the agenda. Motion carried
Minutes of the meeting of February 7, 2011: Motion by Johnson, second by Duffy to approve the minutes of February 7, 2011. Motion Carried.
Audience recognition: Introduction of Stan Walczak, John Saunders,
Report from Superior Days: Warren Johnson reported on Superior Days, the delegation didn’t get to meet with all the legislators but agency meetings went well. Sawyer County’s issues weren’t presented at the legislative meetings in accordance with Superior Days guidelines. The Sawyer County board will have to assess whether the county wishes to continue with the effort next year.
Contribution to silent sports economic impact study: $500. Berard submitted a summary research proposal to understand active silent sports enthusiasts and their economic impact to Sawyer and Bayfield Counties – Motion by Duffy, second by Johnson, to recommend approval to the finance committee for $500 to be funded from the environmental impact fund. Motion carried.
Alternative fuel options for County buildings: Foley Quinn from Profab Industries presented information on their systems and a proposal for the county to look at adding pellet fuel to the transit garage. With focus on energy grant the County could be looking at a 3 – 5 year payback. Committee recommended that Foley Quinn to talk with Pete Sanders and see if Architect could be made aware of the opportunity. Kris Mayberry will add the item to property and airport committee agenda and keep it on the economic development and planning committee agenda for next month.
Birkebeiner trail passes and maintenance – John Leighton, President of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation requested permission to charge a fee for Birkebeiner trail use as it is an economic development asset existing for the benefit of the community. Leighton indicated three main areas of focus for the Birkie Foundation: trail stewardship, birkebeiner event, and future considerations. Leighton shared financials showing that it costs approximately $150,000 per year to maintain the trail. The voluntary parking fee accounts for approximately 18% of the cost of the maintenance. Their goal is to have a trail fee that is one fee for the entire area. They would bring other organizations and venues together and agree on how a trail fee should be split with fee sharing arrangement. The American Birkebeiner is in a very good position to negotiate an arrangement. They would also like to grow the Birkie race as an important community asset. Using race fees to accomplish their stewardship responsibility is keeping this from happening. Future considerations – Telemark will be looking for an income stream. It may be necessary to consider other trail options based on future considerations. Rosies field is an important part of the race and would be a valuable asset to acquire. The economic development committee supports having more discussion with Birkie and other organizations and committees as proposals move forward. They have Interest in developing a new system but not sure what that would look like.
Indianhead Community Action Agency report, including Community Development Block Grant housing rehabilitation project: Sally Schrader presented on behalf of the Indianhead Community Development Block Program and current status of the housing rehab project.
Northwest Regional Planning Commission report: Sheldon Johnson reported on behalf of NWRPC. The Governor’s budget proposal regarding restructuring of the economic development corporation is still in transition. They are working with counties in trying to work with the governor’s approach. The budget proposal, recommends eliminating recycling funding to responsible units. The Household hazardous waste program was funded through 2011.
Sawyer County Economic Development Corporation report: No report
Hayward Area Visitor and Convention Bureau report: No report, at Governor’s Tourism Conference
Monthly expense vouchers: Motion by Johnson, seconded by Duffy to approve the vouchers as presented. Motion carried.
Other matters for discussion only:
Hayward Nursery Project – The committee hopes to have something done in April. Johnson shared an excerpt from the Strategic Direction – DNR document. Maki shared a letter regarding the nursery project that he hopes to send to all legislators. The DNR has scheduled an April meeting with the forestry leadership team. Maki recommends that we take an active stance. Motion by Duffy and seconded Pearson that Maki make contact with the lobbyist and actively move forward. Motion carried.
Dave Berard highlighted some conferences upcoming: May 11 & 12, Northwest Wisconsin Business Development Conference, Ashland. Entrepreneurial Training Program, a business plan writing workshop, Hayward starting March, 31
Dean Pearson reported on farmer’s markets. The Coop indicated that they could utilize the area behind gadgets for a farmer’s market. UW-Extension Agricultural Agent Kevin Schoessow is going to spread the word.
Warren Johnson updated the committee that a potential “Welcome to Sawyer County” sign is county forest land on 27 and could do an on premise sign which requires less permitting.
Motion to adjourn by Johnson, second by Pearson, motion carried.