Since there are a few items that I’d like to share, I thought it might be the easiest to embed the information in one place for your review. — Update for Ortonville EDA & City Council
First, yesterday was a full day! I took the bus that left from Appleton at 6:00 a.m. – and for the evening I was at the RDC Board meeting in Appleton that started at 6:30 p.m. which ended about 8;30 p.m.
Good news – the bill did pass the committee with a 10-7 vote; however, it will be a long road when it comes to the Senate and Governor!
If you have facebook, here is a link to a short video taken by Paul Raymo which was taken while we were in the Committee room. – Link-Click here
Due to the opposition’s disruptions, the Committee meeting is split into multiple videos. All those in support of the Appleton Prison are on the first video. After the break, those in opposition spoke along with the vote. — we were cut back to 2 minutes per testifier which did not allow enough time for much detail – Jen (Swift County) had covered specific regional bullet points – so I did not cover those… I had planned for 4 minutes so knocking it down to 2 min & try to avoid what others had said was difficult – and then include the comments that were constantly murmured in the background! — was great to see our Rep. Jeff Backer while in St. Paul (he stopped in the Committee room to see how things were going just as the meeting had been suspended due to the disruptions).
Julie of KDIO just told me that I was quoted in the Washington Times – so of course I had to go look that up. 🙂 ….
“We are not asking the state to incarcerate more people. We are asking you to house them in an environment that will provide the services they need,” said Vicki Oakes of the Ortonville Economic Development Authority
Oakes and other people who testified during the hearing were repeatedly cut short by protesters who interrupted from the crowd, saying the re-opening of the Appleton prison would be an immoral outrage and a “form of slavery.” Committee chairman Rep. Tony Cornish closed the hearing for about 30 minutes following the outbursts.
BSC County Connect Initiative
First meeting after the Kelly Asche presentation is scheduled:
Monday, March 28th at 6:30 p.m.
at the Clinton Memorial Building
Link to PDF Agenda: 2016-03-28 Invite and Agenda
FYI, you can follow this initiative on the BSAG website:
Link – https://bigstoneareagrowth.wordpress.com/county-connect/
A couple of other items when it comes to Regional Recruitment:
- I attended the UMVRDC Regional Recruitment meeting which was held in Madison on March 17th – we had a very interesting presentation and discussion about a regional recruitment initiative in Canada. Although the square miles covered was larger, the population covered was 5,000 – very similar to Big Stone County. This initiative started seven years ago and they are have success. This is a two-part series. The next meeting will include how they have structured and funded this program. I will provide complete information at the next Big Stone Area Growth meeting.
- There is a Regional Recruitment Minnesota Rural Counties Caucus (MRCC) is looking for funding for “The Greater MN Regional Workforce and Community Development Pilot Project” – a powerhouse of potential designed to show what these great local efforts could do if provided some funding and structure. — Jen (Swift County economic development) had asked me yesterday if I’d be willing to speak in St. Paul for this project since I’ve been doing similar work in Big Stone County — and it was also included as an info item in the UMVRDC Board packet last night – link to PDF info MRCC Info 1
Since the Ortonville Planning Commission was looking into dilapidated structure programs, I had provided information to them which I had obtained during a regional dilapidated building meeting last year – I’ve not heard since if there was interest/discussion at the City; however, Swift County took the info and has structured a program – they presented their work at last nights RDC Board meeting. Here is a link to the two-page program info – Swift County Demolitoin Program – I will be talking program details with the BSC Economic Development Authority tomorrow evening in Graceville.
Ortonville Park Plan
As part of the National Park Service grant, there will be a meeting on April 29th at 12:30 at the Ortonville Library Media Center (lower level). The students that were in Ortonville in February will be presenting their final Boards and discussing their thoughts for the Park system in Ortonville. A remeinder that you can follow all information regarding this process on the program’s websiite/blog Link: https://ortonvilleparks.wordpress.com/