Dayton to visit Fergus Falls FridayPublished 11:08am Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Governor Mark Dayton is coming to Fergus Falls this Friday to learn about a local economic development tool and hopefully promote it throughout the state, Mayor Hal Leland reported.
Leland, who made the announcement at Monday night’s city council meeting, said Dayton is particularly interested in West Central Minnesota’s involvement in the area EB-5 regional center, which provides foreign investors with green cards for investing in local economic projects. Harold Stanislawski, the executive director of the Fergus Falls Economic Improvement Commission, was a key driver behind expanding the center from North Dakota into part of Minnesota, including Otter Tail County.
“He’ll be coming here to hopefully learn all that is possible to learn about (EB-5),” Leland explained.
City offices were informed of Dayton’s visit last Friday. The governor’s office is still working out the details of the visit, which will span from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., but Leland said much of that will be made up of roundtable and individual talks with regional economic officials. He added he was hopeful Dayton would have time for public interaction too. A more comprehensive schedule will be available later this week.
U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson might also be in attendance.
The visit is due in large part to Leland himself, who went to a conference of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities on Aug. 4. He was attending a presentation on economic development tools by Kathy Tunheim, Dayton’s senior jobs advisor.
“She didn’t say anything about EB-5,” Leland said, so after the presentation he spoke to Tunheim about the program and suggested that Dayton come to Fergus Falls to learn more. A week later, the governor’s office called to set up a date.
“The most important meeting (on Friday) will be with representatives of University of North Dakota’s Center for Innovation so he can learn all about the regional center and how he can implement it across Minnesota,” Leland said.Tags: city council, Mark Dayton