EDA begins process to find a new executive director

EDA begins process to find a new executive director

The Economic Development Authority (EDA) meeting on May 16 included numerous agenda items, an update on Taconite Harbor, Cedar Grove Business Park lots, financials, and a discussion about hiring a new director following the decision from the county commissioners to not merge the EDA and the Housing Redevelopment Authority (HRA) at this time.  

During the May 16 meeting, the EDA board established an EDA Director Search Committee to formulate a job description, release a formal employment advertisement, and conduct interviews. The EDA Director Search Committee consists of two EDA board members, Dave Mills and Steve Surbaugh, and two HRA individuals, Jason Hale, the executive director of the HRA, and Mary Somnis, chair of the HRA. 

The search committee plans to release an employment advertisement in early June. Then, depending on the level of interest and number of applicants, the search committee will begin the interview process in July. The selected new EDA director will begin in August following interviews and a recommendation to the EDA board.

 Taconite Harbor Update

The EDA is actively setting meetings and forming a Taconite Harbor Subcommittee to stay ahead of any potential plans to develop Taconite Harbor for residential or commercial use. The subcommittee is looking to set up a meeting in early June with Minnesota Power to gain insights into its intentions and to determine a potential project timeline. In addition, the subcommittee will reach out to Schroeder Township to set a meeting. 

Pat Campanaro, the interim director of the EDA, said during the May 16 meeting her main concern is that Minnesota Power will be ready to get a project going and the Taconite Harbor subcommittee will not be prepared. “We want to stay ahead of this in case the project moves fast.”

Cedar Grove Business Park

The EDA recently closed on two lots for Molly Larson, owner of Sweetwater Design Co. Afterwards, Larson met with the EDA design review committee. The committee oversees building development in the business park. Larson presented her anticipated building plans and shared she will begin building this spring. 

In addition, the EDA closed on a lot to Forrest Parson, owner of Superior Storage. Parsons purchased another lot adjacent to his existing property.