IRON RIVER—The Iron County Economic Development Corporation started the new year looking at its structure, organization and developer needs.
The board held its annual re-election of officers at its Jan. 19 meeting. Jim Quayle was elected president; Karen Anderson and Mike Ferguson were elected vice-presidents; and Ferguson also re-elected as secretary/treasurer.
The board will continue to meet on the third Thursday of the month at 8 a.m., with sites alternating between Iron River and Crystal Falls.
Iron River meetings are held in City Hall; Crystal Falls meetings are held in the commissioners’ board room at the Iron County Courthouse.
Quayle reported that the county had budgeted $31,000 for the EDC, and it will be used to fund an economic developer.
Additional funding is received from a per capita contribution from local units of government, and the administration fees from the Revolving Loan Fund.
Economic Developer Julie Melchiori is no longer employed by Michigan State University, which had been funding a developer as part of its Extension services; and she has also resigned from the EDC.
It is the board’s intention to have its executive committee talk to Melchiori about the open position as a contract employee for the EDC.
“She’s the reason why this county has been successful with economic development,” said Board Member Tom Lesandrini, in recommending the committee meet with her.
“She’s done a great job,” added Board Member Bruce Tusa.
Quayle said the structure of the EDC is now that of “being independent, but working with the county.”
“We’ve run this (the EDC) in so many different ways,” said Anderson, including as a county position, through MSU and the Chamber of Commerce.
“We have to sit down and talk to Julie, come up with a budget, hours, office space and travel considerations.”
IN OTHER BUSINESS:
--The board welcomed three new members: Jay Barry, Julie Harp and Iron County Commissioner Bev Camp.
--The board accepted an application from Gary Hough to serve on the board. Their recommendation will require approval from the Iron County Board of Commissioners.
--The board approved writing a letter of support for Dan Kurtz, who is making a business proposal to Crystal Falls for moving his delivery service to the city’s industrial park.