10/31/2019- A revised economic development report and recommendation for Marinette County from Bay Lakes Regional Planning isn’t expected until the end of November, but County Board Supervisors are already taking up the discussion of how they’d like to see economic and community development efforts carried out. The Board considered this week whether the administration of economic development should be an internal position to the county or be contracted out to an external agency. Supervisor Trisha Grebin says she’d prefer to see the job done in-house to best utilize the resources and networks a governmental body has access to.
“With a government agency you have the networking and you know the trends. You can communicate with other counties and other communities. With community development and economic development you need broadband, you need housing, you need to have a good education system…What kind of students are coming out of your schools? How safe is your community? How clean is your community? I don’t know if an outside entity can have the access or the funding and can have communication with other committees and other departments like a government agency can.”
Supervisor John Guarisco is concerned that because the County hasn’t yet defined just how they plan to foster local development, establishing an entire department dedicated to the work may be premature.
“Until we identify what we want to do and where we want to go, creating a department and hiring employees is a pretty big step and if you change direction down the road because you find you need to go somewhere other than where you initially set your sights on, it would be much easier to have an external entity that you could just get out of the contract on.”
Tuesday’s discussion will be relayed to Bay Lakes for consideration in their upcoming report. The initial study provided in September contained a recommendation that the County contract with inVenture North for economic and community development services, however, it offered insight on few other options for the county. The agency is now revising that report and will present it to the Board again at their next meeting.