Washington County running behind in economic development, consultant says

  • Article by: Kevin Giles , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 28, 2013 - 4:31 PM

How local governments coordinate with the business world remains a hot topic of debate.

  • 3
  • Comments

  • Results per page:
  • 1 - 3 of 3
Willy53Dec. 30, 13 7:08 AM

It has been represenatives like Gary Kriesel that have put Washington County at a disadvantage. Had local legislators and County commissioners advocated for an LRT route through the eastern metro instead of putting all their eggs into a rediculously large and costly bridge (that makes the east metro even more likely to be a fly-over-zone) we wouldn't be having this conversation. It is ironic that Kriesel likes the "private sector" to do the developing but then hypocritically advocates for the largest pork project in Minnesota history (a billion tax payer dollars)which makes him a gigantic spender of public dollars to facilitate his own brand of sprawl development (another form of development that takes a lot of subisdy in the form of unnecessary public services spread over too large an area). Fly over zone is a great term for what the St. Croix Bridge will do to Stillwater and the unforunate businesses there that were sold a bill of goods for a bad development decision for Minnesota. All these legislators that have rejected public transit in favor of more roads and freeway bridges are guilty of the largest form of public spending: new and more roads. Not only does this require more tax dollars for costly maintenance, it attracts the most expensive form of development and does less for current residents. The irony here is too rich.

2
1
Willy53Dec. 30, 13 7:19 AM

It's also interesting to note that these officials would rather find affordable housing solutions to the fact that average worker salary doesn't afford the average home in the area. I say a complete plan is to try to lure business that pays salaries that afford the real estate in Washington County. Do you think, Commissioners, that the local governments in St. Paul and Minneapolis didn't roll up their sleeves and go to work for business when they did the heavy lifting to land the Central Corridor. That wise project (just a little more than the St. Croix Crossing) has already transformed the future of University Avenue. Construction is booming along the avenue. Everybody knows that redevelopment is where the dollars are going. Taking stock of existing Washington County assets and then prioritizing them to recieve public funds would be a first step. The ideological makeup of the Commissioners and local state legislators has doomed our area to sprawl type development which is not where the aggressive development is going. Unwittingly or otherwise they have saddled taxpayers with the costly expenditure of roadbuilding when they could have been advocating for more efficient transit that attracts a more diverse form of business, especially small business.

1
0
hugonaughtDec. 30, 13 1:08 PM

Economic development is not one thing and means different things to different locations because of their specific economy. Given recent events Scandia talks about economic development it talks about key services not disappearing not increasing their tax base which is what Newport thinks of as economic development. Strategies to achieve those two things are very different. The county has a role to play in economic development. It needs to keep physical business infrastructure current and plan well for the future. So that resources (raw materials, equipment and people) goods and services can be delivered with the least transportation costs possible. Does the county have high speed internet every where? I like what Aitkin County did give away the right of way to providers under the condition that they put the lines in within 5 years. How is water and sewer capacity in the communities - can the county help? The consultants may be identifying good data but in a cynical note since there are very few measurements for success with or with out public intervention (would the development have occurred anyway ?) for economic development they are most likely trying to sell you your next product. The best strategy for development is to have quick access to quality factors of production and methods of product (including service) distribution. That was as true for the lumber industry as it was for tech industry. Fran Miron should know that from his experiences in Hugo. Methodically grow through their growth in the last 30 years and you will know why it located where it did.

0
0
  • 1 - 3 of 3

Comment on this story   |  

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Wild-Colorado playoff series?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT