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Marinette County Still Leans Toward Internal Economic Development Administration, Despite Report Recommendation

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11/07/2019- There’s a new report in from Bay Lakes Regional Planning on the assessment of economic development in Marinette County, but what the County will do with that information has yet to be seen. The agency provided the revised report to the Development Committee Tuesday, which contained the same recommendation from a third-party consultant as the original version- to consider contracting with inVenture North for economic development services to avoid a duplication of services between that organization and the county. However, some County Supervisors have indicated they want to see the job done in-house, including County Board Chairman Mark Anderson who says the county’s role in economic development should be through community development.
“Economic development is an animal of it’s own; an outside entity, if there’s certain things they can bring to us to contract with, great. But as far as community development, we need housing, we need broadband, we need improved trail systems, we need all kinds of community development things. We need someone who really understands government funding, grants, and all that good stuff and can bring proposals back to this board to move on.”
But, Supervisor Bonnie Popp says they’re not taking into consideration the recommendation from the Bay Lakes report and she wants to see draft proposals of what both internal and external administration of economic and community development would look like before making any decisions.
“A year ago we directed John (Lefebvre) to bring a proposal to us internally. And then we decided we’d put that on hold because we need outside experts to make a recommendation to us. So now we’ve got our outside recommendation- spent thousands of dollars for it- and now we’re just going to throw it in the garbage. That’s what we are doing here.”
The Committee took no official action on the topic Tuesday. The updated Bay Lakes report will be presented to the full County Board next week.

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