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What’s FCDC’s future?

By Staff | Nov 12, 2017

There is a strong possibility that the Faribault County Development Corporation (FCDC) could soon cease to exist.

In a letter sent out from the board of directors of the corporation to its members, the directors called for a meeting of the membership set for this Monday, Nov. 13. The directors are calling for a vote of the membership on whether to continue, or whether to dissolve the corporation.

The directors are recommending dissolving, according to the letter.

The FCDC is a private corporation, but they have deep ties to the economic development in several public entities including three cities in Faribault County and the county itself.

Faribault County and the cities of Wells, Winnebago and Blue Earth have contracts with FCDC to have the private corporation and its staff conduct the work of economic development in those cities and the county.

In essence, the staff of FCDC acts as the economic development director for the cities and the county. They work closely with the economic development authorities (EDAs) in each of the three communities and the county.

The county and the city of Blue Earth each pay FCDC $50,000 annually to conduct this EDA work. The other two cities also have a contracted amount they pay.

The Blue Earth EDA has been holding closed sessions after each of their past few monthly meetings in order to discuss “contract/ employee negotiations,” presumably the contract with FCDC.

Various city officials and Mike Gustafson, chairman of FCDC, have declined to make any formal announcement until Tuesday, after the FCDC meeting and vote.

However, Blue Earth city administrator Tim Ibisch says the city is aware of the situation, since the City of Blue Earth is not just a client of FCDC, but a member as well.

Ibisch says city councilman and EDA board member John Huisman will represent the city at the meeting on Monday.

In addition, Ibisch attended the Faribault County Commissioners meeting last Tuesday, Nov. 7, to discuss current economic development issues and future options for EDA administration.

The County Board voted on a motion by commissioner Greg Young and seconded by commissioner Tom Loveall to have commissioners John Roper and Bill Groskreutz to meet with the officials of the city of Blue Earth and other interested parties concerning the future of economic development in the county.