CEDA update at W’bago EDA
A “First Impression Report” prepared by the Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) was presented to the Winnebago Economic Development Authority (EDA) at their meeting held on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
Annie Leibel, who as an employee of CEDA works for the Faribault County EDA, led the overview of the report and explained it to the Winnebago EDA members.
The report contained a lot of information about the assets and opportunities the city has as observed by an objective, first-time visitor. Among the positive data was the information which showed 69 percent of Winnebago’s workforce is 54 years old or younger.
A breakdown of the city’s workforce by industry sector showed 75 percent of the workforce falls into one of five categories with manufacturing being the largest employer with 29.5 percent of the total workforce.
Based on information from 2015, the report shows 482 people leaving Winnebago to go to work every day while 319 people come to Winnebago for their jobs. A total of 88 people stay in the city for work. Leibel said these were good numbers, especially for a city the size of Winnebago and its location near Mankato, to have that number of workers coming into the city compared to the ones leaving.
The report looked at many other things such as the city’s website, social media, signage, housing and residential areas, healthcare services, emergency services, childcare and the local economy. Suggestions on some improvements which could be implemented were included with the report.
“It is nice to have some fresh eyes take a look at the community,” EDA member Brad Wolf stated.
The board members were in general agreement the city needed help going forward but were unsure of exactly how much help and how they should proceed. After much discussion the board passed a motion asking the Winnebago City Council to hire CEDA but did not specify the level. Many options are available from one day every other week to one, two, three, four or five days a week.
Meanwhile, the EDA scheduled a work session for Feb. 20 to come up with a list of goals they would like CEDA to help them achieve. CEDA has been invited to take part in this meeting.
In other business:
It was reported no new nominations have been submitted for the Winnebago Hall of Fame. Any new nominations need to be by the March meeting.
Chris Ziegler, the city administrator, reported both the Blue Earth Area School Board and the Winnebago City Council could vote next week on the purchase agreement for the former Winnebago School.
The board voted to spend up to $250 to help with an open house for Ron’s Electric, HVAC, Plumbing and Heating, which purchased Royer’s Plumbing and Heating earlier this year. No date has been set for the open house at this time.