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FCDC votes to dissolve

By Staff | Nov 19, 2017

After the members of the Faribault County Development Corporation (FCDC) voted last Monday evening to dissolve the entity, local economic development groups have been wondering, ‘what do we do now?”

The vote was unanimous, 12-0, according to reports.

The FCDC board of directors had made a unanimous decision on Oct. 25 to recommend to the members to dissolve as a corporation.

The membership meeting was held on Monday, Nov. 13, at the Riverside Town & Country Golf Club. It was a relatively short meeting.

“The (FCDC) board will follow the distribution plan, which all members received by mail,” says Mike Gustafson of Corn Plus, who is chairman of the board. “The transition period is unknown at this point, as is how long the actual FCDC office (located in the Ag Center in Blue Earth) will be open for and/or run.”

The entire board of directors and the executive board (officers) were set to have meetings in the near future to decide how to proceed with the dissolution.

The FCDC has been hired by Faribault County and the cities of Blue Earth and Wells, to administrate economic development activities in the county.

They also did work for the city of Winnebago, but city administrator Chris Ziegler pointed out that Winnebago did not have a contract with FCDC and did not pay them, as was stated in a story in last week’s Faribault County Register.

Both the Wells City Council and the Faribault County EDA had meetings last week where the issue of what to do after FCDC dissolves was a topic of conversation.

Meanwhile, the city of Blue Earth’s EDA had already been discussing what to do if FCDC were to dissolve and had been in contact with a group called Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA).

The Blue Earth EDA held an informational meeting on last Thursday, hosted by city administrator Tim Ibisch, where they invited other city and county officials to attend. (See separate story on the CEDA meeting in this week’s Register.)

“As we look to the future, we recognize a need for tactical and strategic guidance and feel CEDA is an excellent candidate,” the Blue Earth EDA wrote in a press release. “Since 1986, CEDA has worked with several rural cities to develop comprehensive plans, leading the economic development profession.”

The EDA also stated the goal of the Thursday meeting is to propose a joint powers contract with CEDA for 2018 with Faribault County, Blue Earth, Wells and Winnebago, allocating costs, maintenance and services between all parties via respective population percentages.

The Blue Earth EDA also thanked FCDC for everything they have done for the city.

“Since 2008, Faribault County Development Corporation has served our area to foster and lead economic growth,” the EDA press release stated. “We cannot begin to thank all the individuals who have been part of FCDC over the years; their partnership, collaboration and enterprising foundation has been invaluable. Our sincere hope is to build upon the core competencies and embody the spirit of FCDC by continuing to align our county as one community.”