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EDA contract spurs debate

August 22, 2012
Jodelle Greiner - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

BLUE EARTH - Faribault County commissioners have reservations about paying $50,000 for economic development.

Jake Anderson, chairman of the Faribault County Economic Development Authority, presented a new contract to the board Tuesday. The contract would run for two years, from Jan. 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2014, instead of one year as previously. The fee would be $50,000 annually, automatically renewed on Jan. 1, 2014. The contract would also have a 60-day written termination clause.

Anderson vowed to work with the private, non-profit Faribault County Development Corporation and its director, Linsey Warmka, who was present at the meeting.

"I was in favor of a one-year contract," said Commissioner Bill Groskreutz, since the board approves the county budget on an annual basis.

"I too thought the county involvement would be going down," said Commissioner Tom Warmka, "but to do that, you need more cities and individuals involved. How committed are cities, towns and banks?

"I don't know if this is a core function of county government to prop up economic development," Tom Warmka added. "That should be cities."

"I'd like to see our involvement go down, but we're not there yet," said Commissioner John Roper.

Roper pointed out that no town in the county exceeds 5,000 in population.

"We need an organization in the county to run those towns," Roper said.

The board took no action on the request, but Roper said the board's budget meeting is set for Aug. 28 and the property tax levy must be set in September.

In other business, the board approved:

o A bid of $284,284 by Hodgman Drainage of Claremont for work on County Ditch 26, Branch A, to be completed by Oct. 31.

o A bid of $1,452 by Blue Earth Fire Service to perform maintenance on all the county's fire extinguishers.



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