- Associated Press - Sunday, April 7, 2019

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - The city of Minot has decided to create a new position for an economic development specialist.

Shannon Straight, a council member, said they may hear complaints from people who do not want government involved in the process, but believe the timing is right.

“I think the pressure is on us. I think there are many, many people in the public that think this is a bad idea - the government should not be involved in this,” Straight said. “I’ve heard that repeatedly. But I think the pressure is on us to now show we can be nimble, we can work with our community partners, that we can be responsive, that we can address our own issues that oftentimes we make excuses for.”

The City Council approved the job last week and the city can begin advertising the post, the Minot Daily News reported.

“There’s a time to get involved with economic development, and I think that time is now,” said Paul Pitner, a council member. “The position as a whole is much more diverse than just the city being involved in economic development, but also how to get the public and the private sector involved.”

Pitner added that it’s important to differentiate what the city should not be doing in addition to what it should be doing with respect to economic development.

The job description comprises managing all of the city’s economic development activities. Those activities include examining legislation, regulations and grants; tracking city investments and economic development activities related to the MAGIC Fund, which is money the city allocates for economic and industrial development.

The position will be funded through sales tax dollars rerouted from the MAGIC Fund, with a projected income ranging from $70,432 to $106,041.

During the 2019 budget process, the city council authorized rerouting $250,000 of sales tax from the MAGIC Fund to boost economic development and to establish an economic development task force, as advised in an International Economic Development Council report delegated through the resilience program.

The Minot IEDC stakeholders group and its steering committee made the suggestion to hire an economic development specialist.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

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