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City Council Considers ECDC Request

By Staff | Dec 5, 2017

The Emmetsburg City Council met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Nov. 27 at City Hall.

In new business, the City Council considered approving Darrick Young for the position of Economic Development Director for Emmetsburg.

Four people including: Dan Cooper (the chair of ECDC), Kirk Haack (EMU Trustee member of ECDC), Brian Malm (Council member on the ECDC board), and John Bird conducted the interviews for the Economic Development Director position. Each of these four individuals is tied to the Emmetsburg Community Development Corporation.

“We all agreed that, well I think everybody knows that he is fully vested in Emmetsburg. We just believe that he’s got everything it’s going to take to be a good developer,” City Administrator John Bird explained. “You know, as long as I’ve known him, he’s been a great ambassador for the community- always speaks very highly of Emmetsburg.”

The motion to approve Darrick Young for hiring was made by Councilman Mike Hermansen and seconded by Councilman Bill Burdick.

Following Young’s hiring, the City Council was approached by Dan Cooper to request additional funding for ECDC.

“With the purchasing of the Food Pride building, and things we have going on- we it’s kind of out of our normal budget because of our expenses with our gas and abstracting and stuff like that. We knew we’d come to a head; we talked about it a year ago,” Chair of ECDC Dan Cooper began. “We’re to that point where there’s just no money to pay the utility bills, and had a little bit of abstracting, a little bit of legal fees, stuff like that. So we talked about it, and I think the simplest way, after talking to John, is to, we’ve been without a director for a while now. The money for that director has been budgeted. If we could just not ask for new money and just take the money that’s there from Billie Jo’s salary.”

The previous Economic Development Director, Billie Jo Joyce, issued her resignation from the position in June of 2017. The position has been open since that time, which means that the City has not been paying the salary that the previous director would have received.

“Use that to pay some of these utility bills as they come up and get us through to probably May/June or something like that,” Cooper continued.

“I think that’s probably the most appropriate way to do that,” Bird stated. “You know there’s been five full months of budgeted salary that has not been expended.”

ECDC has had a number of expected bills and expenses come up recently.

“The unspent salary should be more than enough to get through the spring with these utility cost, but like Dan said, we had abstracting, surveying, insurance, well both the property insurance and the group’s liability insurance which also we just paid,” Bird commented. “So they’ve had a lot of expenses, and it’s just come to the point where pretty soon if we get a bill we’re not going to be able to cover it. Better to do it now, than when they’re completely out of money.”

“And there will be, if things go as we planned with the Alco building there will still be some more abstracting, some legal fees,” Cooper explained.

“How much money are we talking?” Questioned Councilman Bill Burdick.

The Council determined that they have saved roughly $17,500 in unspent salary due to the open position.

“But we would probably need between now and May, let’s say, probably eight [thousand]. That’s just a wild guess,” Cooper commented.

Between the $8,000 that ECDC needs currently plus the cost of the insurance policies, the Council determined that they would need at least $12,000 before other expenses such as taxes.

The City Council decided to transfer $17,500 from the City’s economic development fund to the Emmetsburg Community Development Corporation.

Brian Campbell moved to transfer the money; the motion was seconded by Bill Burdick. The motion passed unanimously.

Finally, the City Council voted to dispense of the December 25, 2017 City Council meeting.