EDA commissioners pass resolution to renew WCEDP membership

Monticello’s Economic Development Authority has passed a resolution supporting renewal of the city’s annual Wright County Economic Development Partnership (WCEDP) membership.
Community Development Director Angela Schumann presented the funding request Nov. 14. The $2,390 in dues was unanimously approved by the EDA.
The WCEDP is the membership-based economic development agency that  is acting on behalf of the cities within Wright County. The membership dues request had been tabled in September pending the final adoption of the 2013 EDA budget. Schumann told commissioners $4,309 was budgeted as a line item expense.
“This is probably the most valuable [EDA membership] in terms of maximizing your resources,” Schumann said. “I recommend you participate during 2013.”
In 2011, the WCEDP hired Ted LaFrance as its new executive director. According to Schumann, LaFrance has been making steady progress in moving the organization forward and generating added value for the communities the WCEDP serves. In a memo, Schumann noted several partnership advancements.
WCEDP has implemented  a standardized format and system for marketing lead distribution in partnership with Greater MSP, the 12-county metropolitan economic development initiative and improved board representation on Greater MSP, ensuring Wright County’s active representation in national and global economic development marketing initiatives. Schumann said the partnership has maintained a land and buildings database for all of Wright County, developed a Small Business Development Center affiliation with St. Cloud State University as well as participated in a statewide roundtable on manufacturing issues.
“They are bringing in leads and sitting down at the table to bring in financial packages for potential leads,” she said. “I think this is a valuable membership.”
According to Schumann, the partnership continues to offer cooperative marketing for Wright County, and opportunities for networking and collaboration among its member cities, organizations, and businesses. For the city of Monticello, membership in the organization actually provides a net benefit in terms of staff resources.
The partnership acts as a marketing and lead-generating arm on behalf of the city. Schumman said she and City Administrator Jeff O’Neill have met with LaFrance. “He’s very motivated, very engaged and been a great resource,” she said.
Schumann will be attending WCEDP membership meetings on behalf of the city, she said.