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FEDA OKs interim coordinator

FAIRMONT– The Fairmont Economic Development Authority on Monday considered a contract for interim economic development services with Community Economic Development Associates (CEDA).

City Administrator Cathy Reynolds said the city is still in a position where it doesn’t have an economic development coordinator hired. The city posted the position in March after former coordinator Linsey Preuss announced she was resigning.

Reynolds said she reached out to see if there were some interim services and she found CEDA.

“They have the ability to have somebody here to work for us. I looked at one to two days a week to do some economic development,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said the services are intended to help get the city through in the interim time period.

Martin County also recently posted a position for an economic development coordinator and last week heard a presentation from CEDA.

Board Member Andy Noll asked Reynolds if she’s checked with other communities that have used CEDA’s services and whether they’ve been happy with the option.

Reynolds said she knows of people who have worked with the company and have been happy with it She pointed out that for the interim, it’s a good option.

“It gets something back out there for our business community so we can get a little more engaged with them and start pushing some thing we were working on,” Reynolds said.

Noll asked how long Reynolds anticipates before they get someone full-time hired.

“I’m hoping within six months,” Reynolds said.

The board approved entering into a contract with CEDA.

Moving to other matters, while staying on the same topic, the board discussed the possibility of creating a joint economic development authority with the county.

Reynolds said the county has reached out to see if Fairmont has an interest in creating a combined Fairmont and Martin County Economic Development Authority and having someone work in that role.

Reynolds said if they go that route, they would possibly change the language of Fairmont’s role to an economic development director.

“I think it’s a discussion worth having. I could make a strong case both ways,” said Board Member Bruce Peters.

The board discussed whether different communities in the county would feel if they were getting proper attention with an arrangement like that.

“Structure will be the most important thing. I’m assuming this person would be focusing on high value items for each community every single day. There will be people supporting this individual underneath,” said Board Member Mike Wubbena.

Reynolds said they’ve discussed with the county what an agreement would look like, but she wanted to see if the board was interested in the possibility.

The regular meeting ended and the board went into closed session to discuss the purchase of eight Whitetail Ridge lots, located at the intersection of Belle Vue Road, Prairie Avenue and Redbird Lane in Fairmont.

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