September 13, 2001 WC Regional Development Partnership Ortonville, MN by myh13361


									September 13, 2001
WC Regional Development Partnership
Ortonville, MN 5-9 p.m.

Draft Minutes

Members Attending: Carmen Fernholz, Owen Heiberg, Margaret Torgelson, Julie
Joplin, Greg Cuomo, Stan Wieser, Mary Page, Mary Ann Scharf, Bill Stewart, Sid
Martinez, Bruce Thorfinnson, Nancy O’Leary, John Cunningham, Marie Koenigs, Dick
Hanson, Kay Slama, Bev Struxness, Deon Stuthman. (100%)!

Staff Attending: Dorothy Rosemeier

The afternoon began with a pontoon lake tour on Big Stone Lake with a supper served
on board. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Carmen Fernholz at the Public
Health Meeting Room in Ortonville. Carmen welcomed the four new board members:
Kay Slama, Julie Joplin, Bruce Thorfinnson and Stan Wieser.

Minutes of the August 9th Board tour/meeting and the August 31st Exec. Committee
meeting were approved. M/S/P: Deon & Mary. The Treasurer’s Report and budget
update were reviewed by Nancy O’Leary and Dorothy.

The meeting schedule will remain on the second Thursdays of the month. The schedule
for the year was distributed. The Board Retreat dates were discussed and several options
were given to the planning team of Margaret and Mary Ann working with Dorothy to

Project Action Items:

   1. Request for $3000 for the Trails/Tourism Project being done jointly with NW
      and WC Partnerships was approved. The planning funds are expected to address
      sense of place and an outcome of connecting all the various trails/tourism groups
      in the prairie part of the state to more effectively market together. The Northern
      area of western MN is working well and the southern half needs to network and
      get up to speed.

   2. Electrical Energy Project: Owen reported that the focus is mainly on Maynard
      and Clara City with the possibility of Willmar, Raymond and Granite Falls
      joining in. There are two focus areas: Maynard and Clara City becoming a
      municipality and secondly, seeing the feasibility of wind power. (Willmar is
      currently exploring wind power with help from the Dept. of Commerce. The
      next meeting is on Sept. 26 and will bring the 2 communities together to firm up
      the project. A future public meeting will be conducted with citizens and will be
      enhanced with a computer modeling program that visually illustrates different
      scenarios. The Board approved $5000 to bring in Dr. Michael Mageau of UMD
      with the computer modeling program.
   3. Telecommunications Project – Board approved $5000 for a Community
      Assistant Program(CAP) . A CAP student from UMM will research
      telecommunication development in the region.

   4. Youth Philanthropy Project – Owen reported that he had been working with
      Brian McNeill of Swift County Extension and they were going to develop a more
      specific proposal that cut across county lines. It has been tested in Swift County
      this past year where youth operated a grant program for youth led projects.

   5. CAP with a statewide emphasis was approved by the Board for$1500. Land
      Stewardship Project and U of M faculty on “Surveying the Gaps Between
      Farmers and Lenders” will conduct a survey statewide.

Potential Projects/Connections Update/Discussion:

          Sustainable Regional Food System – a public forum is planned for Nov. 15th
          at Faith Lutheran Church in Morris. Two surveys are underway: one with
          farmer producers and one with consumers.

          On September 4, RP Executive Directors met with reps from the St. Paul
          Farmers Market to talk about a Year Around Market Hall supported by MN
          Dept.of Ag available for all Minnesota farmers to participate. The model
          could be replicated here in western MN. A broader gathering of collaborators
          is being sought.

          The Local Food Project Committee meets the 3rd Monday of the month on the
          UMM Campus.

          Sustainable Enterprise BR&E Project will report at the October Board
          Meeting. Dr. Richard Levins, U of M, will be invited to attend. Board
          Members – please do some more interviewing and turn them in to Dorothy.

          Ag & Rural Policy Study Groups – John C. reported there are four places
          where there is interest in setting up a study group. The next step is follow-
          through on reporting sessions with decision makers, doing it as a study circle
          format to share ideas. Rep. Doug Peterson of Madison will be asked to the
          next planning session.

         WC Growth Alliance received $75,000 and Reg.6 RDC is looking for matches
         of $2500 from each county in that region.. The West Central Initiative Fund
         Has put in that amount for counties in that region. (Grant Co. received it).

          Working Landscape Proposal – Dick gave an overview of this project that
          was proposed to the Regional Partnerships from a consultant based in the
          Twin Cities. The primary audience was County Commissioners as sources of
           funding to encourage land stewardship measures with ag lands. Concerns of
           the proposal were: counties are not that “flushed” with funds to support such
           an effort; there are currently several efforts via soil/water conservation boards
           that are working with this; and there was an assumption that only agriculture
           contributes to water pollution problems. Septic systems need to be considered
           as part of the problem as well. Dorothy will send out the proposal to the
           whole board as well. No action required at this time.

The Statewide Coordinating Committee (SCC) September meeting was reported by
Mary, Deon and Dorothy. There is much discussion on the role SCC and it’s relationship
with the regions. SCC is to support the Regional Partnerships, not govern over the them.
The 3 core principles of Active Citizenship, Sustainable Development and Partnering
with the U of M put the citizens and Uof M faculty on equal ground and enable them to
learn from each other. Paul Imbertson with the Distributive Energy Project is a good
example. He is learning and instilling the “land grant mission”. That is why the
Regional Partnerships were formed.

Mary felt this Sept. meeting was a real turning point for the SCC as it was slipping into a
staff-coordination meeting. It seems to be well spelled out on what the roles are. The
group is trying to find a word picture to show this citizen/UofM relationship. We are
more unique than we realize.

Deon, Mary and Dorothy shared that President Yudof is zeroing in on Outreach at the
University. Rural communities are important to Minnesota and we need to share the
results and impacts of the Partnerships.

The next Board Meeting will be held in Renville County at Olivia on October 11th with
Mary Page as the local facilitator.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted

Mary Ann Scharf, Secretary

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