By Katelynn Hasler
The Marshall County commissioners and the Marysville City Council both gave their approval Monday for the establishment of a steering committee that will examine the potential for a joint economic development effort.
County economic development director George McCune presented a plan for a new system of economic development to the commissioners in their Monday meeting. The system would more directly involve cities and private businesses in the process, he said, and also transfer some of the burden of fundraising.
The proposal is for the eventual development of a non-profit coalition amongst the county, cities and the private sector to collaboratively take on economic development in the county. It could allow for more projects such as an industrial park study or a revolving loan program and provide cities with more services, McCune said.
McCune first proposed the formation of a steering committee to study its potential of a coalition and determine exactly how the new system would operate. He proposed that the steering committee be made up of the three county commissioners, three Marysville City Council members, three representatives from other city councils in the county and four representatives of private businesses. He proposed that the Marysville city administrator and the economic development director act as ex-officio or non-voting members of the committee.
The commissioners unanimously voted to form the steering committee. Marysville City Council discussed the issue Monday night. The council voted in favor of forming the steering committee 6-1. Wayne Price voted no, saying he thought all other city councils should have had a chance to hear about the plan before a decision was made.
Rob Peschel, Charlie Schwindamann and Mayor Bernie Krug were selected as steering committee representatives for Marysville.
The county currently pays for operation of the economic development office, including salaries and office equipment. Cities, individuals and businesses supported the office’s activities recently in funding of the countywide housing study, and McCune said he believes a new system of economic development could help that happen more often.
“The new concept has everybody being a team member, both financially and organizationally,” McCune said.
The steering committee will be responsible for establishing bylaws for the potential new system.
“This is the way that effective economic development organizations in the state are working,” McCune told the commissioners