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FCDC tells Blue Earth City Council they will still handle its EDA work

By Staff | Feb 8, 2015

Travis Keister had a message for the Blue Earth City Council at their meeting Monday night.

“We are not going away,” he said. “While we will miss Linsey (Preuss), I want to assure you our organization, Faribault County Development Corporation (FCDC), is not going to fold up absolutely not.”

Keister was referring to the fact that Preuss had resigned and was leaving for a position in Fairmont with that city’s economic development authority (EDA).

“In fact, we have already had several quality applications and we interviewed one person this morning (Monday), for the position of interim director. We expect to have the interim position filled by the end of the week.”

(Keister was wrong. Just two days later, on Wednesday, the FCDC issued a news release saying they had hired an interim director. See accompanying story.)

Keister, who serves on the board of directors of FCDC, had words of praise for Preuss and what she had accomplished for the organization over the past years.

“She did a great job for our organization, accomplished many positive things,” he said. “She is young, energetic and did a good job.”

But, he added, FCDC’s main focus was to find a quality person to fill the position and not only continue the good things being done, but “take us to the next step.”

Keister said his main purpose Monday night was to assure the council that FCDC would be fulfilling their contract with the city to provide economic development assistance. The city pays FCDC $50,000 per year for this service.

“I understand the city has the potential to hire their own EDA person,” he said. “And you feel this is the time to look at that option. But, I want to encourage you to look at the success we have had. All of the wheels are moving in the right direction.”

Keister said that this model works using the FCDC as its EDA director.

“With your continued support, we will have even more success,” Keister said.

Preuss also spoke at the work session before the regular meeting began and gave the council an update on all of the current EDA projects going on in the city.

Those included working with a possible new business in the North Industrial Park, helping with a loan for the purchase of an existing downtown business, and continuing with the study of a possible new housing development near Lampert’s Lumber.

“I want to say I appreciate all the people on the EDA and the council,” Preuss said. “It has been an honor to have worked with all of you.”