Sawyer County Economic Development and Planning Committee
January 18, 2007
Committee Members Attending: Arlene Mizerka, Hal Helwig, Shirley Riedmann, Jim Bassett, Joe Eichinger
Gary Nathan, Mike Gehrke, Don Mrotek, Kris Mayberry, Linda Clifford, Jim Bassett, John Moreland, Gary Erickson, Wendy Schroeder, Will LaBreche, Ron Petit, Gred Leuthold, Glen Landis, Bill Cadotte, David Berard
Meeting called to order by Shirley Riedmann at 8:37.
Meeting Agenda: Motion to approve the agenda by Helwig, seconded by Mizerka, motion carried
Minutes of the meeting of December 20, 2006: Motion to approve the minutes by Riedmann, seconded by Mizerka, motion carried.
Tuscobia Trail enhancement project including Winter Depot project: Mayberry summarized two issues – Depot Project in winter, and overall use and economic benefits of trail. Glenn Landis from the Department of Transportation discussed grant applications, guidelines, etc. The DOT Program is fairly small, only about $6,000,000 to cover the entire state for two years. Moving a depot and using it as a trailhead is an eligible project. Trails funds are for non-motorized use only and do not include ATV’s.
Mr. Eichinger, committee vice-chairman took over chairing the meeting.
Lifelink helicopter base opportunity: No representative from Lifelink was present. Mayberry would contact Lifelink and find out what would make Sawyer County a better place to locate. In emergency situations we would get out of Hayward faster, but the project would also benefit economic development. Motion by Riedmann to recommend that public safety take the lead on the project and work with property/airport on a proposal, seconded by Helwig, motion carried.
2007 Superior Days: Berard noted that Superior Days will be the last two days of February. Although several are planning to attend, anyone is welcome. The Superior Days issue team was looking for additional tourism related issues to bring to Madison. Sawyer County will be sending two youth representatives and chaperones to the event.
Use of ATC funds: Helwig noted that we don’t need to do something immediately. We will probably need a meeting that will address the specifics. The economic development committee is the committee of oversight, but we need a process for determining how the funding decisions will be made. Bassett asked about the April 1 deadline for determining use. Mayberry will check on it the requirements for the April 1 deadline.
Coordination with LCO on Economic Development: Bill Cadotte noted that they are building a base for individual entrepreneurs and businesses. The tribe is looking at putting together some of the staff to look at Economic Development opportunities. They would like to be able to coordinate that with what the county is interested in doing.
Habitat for Humanity request for assistance: Gary Erickson and John Moreland representing Habitat asked about how the county could assist in possible location of lots for Habitat. Moreland provided an overview. They are finishing the 6th home. The dedication will be later this month. Mayberry could help look at INREM property that might be available to habitat.
Northwest Regional Planning Corporation report, including updates on revolving loan funds: Berard submitted written reports forwarded from the Planning Commission for the Housing and Economic Development Revolving Loan Funds.
Sawyer County Economic Development Corporation report, including update on hiring new director: Gary Nathan discussed the coordinator position. A new housing development project involving a local developer who wants to work on a small scale to develop about 4 homes is in process. Two businesses have approached them to develop a facility. They have also been approached by a local business person that wants to expand their operation that will create about 5 jobs. The search is moving forward on a director position and a non-resident survey is being implemented. There was discussion of possibly hosting a conference for entrepreneurship or follow-up to the economic summit.
Hayward Lake’s Visitor and Convention Bureau report; Wendy Schroeder discussed a brand image survey. After conducted the survey, a plan will be developed based on the analysis. They have received a JEM grant, also provided funds for a bridal fair. Work is being done on another JEM grant to examine conventions and meetings. The VCB is working on key words through google to get more hits on the website. A copy of the 2007 vacation guide was distributed (on file).
Other matters for discussion only:
Berard noted that the planning commission workshop was successful and illustrated the need for additional education in this area. Fifty-seven participants attended. We hope to learn about additional opportunities from the program evaluations.
Don Mrotek has scheduled at meeting with local officials to try to get an ATV trail into the city.
The next regular meeting schedule occurs during Superior Days. Recommendation was made to allow participants to attend Superior Days in February and to reconvene the committee in March.
Motion by Helwig, seconded by Riedmann, motion carried.