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JDA board holds elections

March 6, 2018
Bonnie Remmick - Tribune Reporter , Pierce County Tribune

On Thursday, February 22, the Rugby Job Development Authority board held its regular monthly meeting for February 2018.

Father Tom Graner, leading the meeting, announced that Big Pauly's Pizza has closed. The business had a forgivable JDA loan of $7,500. This loan had a stipulation that a certain number of employees would work within a three year time period, and at the end of the term, the loan was forgiven. Since the three year period has not elapsed, owner Paul Urias will send written documentation to the JDA with figures on employment for the time Big Pauly's was open. This will determine the amount that he will owe on his remaining time. He has been in communication with the JDA board, and will work with the board on getting the documentation done, Graner reported. The assets in question for the loan will be transferred to the JDA. Another pizza franchise is trying to be found by the owners of the building, that may be able to use the assets existing.

The Lyric theater will receive matching 10K contribution from the JDA, it was approved.

Karin Fursather gave an update on the executive director's position. The executive director's applicant search has closed. There were three applicants, with two interviews scheduled for February 28 and March 2. The Board will hold a special meeting on March 5, at which time they will decide to select the candidate, if one is chosen, to the city council for approval. There will need to be a special meeting to do the actual hiring approval when a candidate has accepted the extended offer.

The JDA welcomed Duane Brossart who has nominated to be on the board. He accepted the position, it was approved. Brossart brings an agricultural perspective to the board. It was also noted that there now is no representative from Otter Tail Power Company, but one will join the committee soon.

The next item on the agenda was the election of officers. These nominations will go to the City of Rugby for approval at the March 5 meeting. For chairman; Rob St Michel nominated. He accepted that proposal. Vice president nominated was Daunne Heilman. She accepted. The secretary position, nominated Gary Kraft, and the treasurer nominated was Susan Selensky. All motions were approved and seconded. The elections will be sent to the City for approval by Graner.

Next on the agenda was a report from Heilman, on the Housing Comprehensive Study that was completed by Community Partners Research from Minnesota.

Heilman reported on the Main Street Conference that she attended in Bismarck. Graner has posted information to the JDA website about both the Study and the Main Street Conference.

A continuing conversation about bringing natural gas to Rugby was held. Tanner Johnson discussed the difference in steel pipe and 'plastic' type of pipes from the source, and cost differences. That information is included in the natural gas documents, and will be available online.

All items from the meeting will be available on the website for public review including the Housing Study, and the Main Street initiatives documents, and natural gas recommendations by MDU. Graner asked that people be patient while the JDA transitions to a new executive director and the current staff turns over that function.

It was mentioned that the Dairy Queen would be transferring ownership to an adult child of the current owner, in the near future.

Jodi Schaan, Heart of America Medical Center, announced they will continue to look for and possibly hire a provider this summer/fall. It was asked if an offer of the $50k, over five years, for student loan payback by the JDA, would be available. This is paid out, $10k each over five years, in hoping to retain the person in the area. This will need more information when an offer is extended, and the hospital should bring this to the board when a provider has been found.



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