CGMC Legislative Action Day attended [UPDATED]Published 9:31am Friday, March 1, 2013 Updated 11:33am Friday, March 1, 2013
On Feb. 6 city administrator Mark Sievert, alderman Ben Scheirer, and mayor Hal Leland attended the Coalition of Greater Cities Legislative Action Day at the Capital. The day began at the offices of CGMC lobbyists Flaherty and Hood who represent Greater Minnesota Cities on legislative matters. Board of Directors member Hal Leland considered and voted on several legislative issues and strategies including: Local Government Aid (LGA); economic development priorities such as Internship Tax Credits for businesses, expansion ofthe Angel Investment Credit for Greater Minnesota, New Employee Job Training Program; and a replacement for the JOBZ investment credit program which is expiring in the near future.
Governor Mark Dayton
The Governor addressed the CGMC membership during lunch to answer questions and discuss his 2013 legislative proposals for Greater Minnesota cities.
Most mayors, city councìlors, and administrators were concerned about his proposed changes to the LGA formula, getting bi-partisan support for economic development proposals, and his expansion of the sales tax along with property tax relief.
The Governor indicated willingness to listen to alternative proposal on most ofthe issue mentioned and invited suggestions to make them equitable and fair.
It was good to hear there is opportunity for discussion and change. Our work is just beginning to address and make the needed changes.
The afternoon focused on meetings with Representative Bud Nornes, Senator Bill lngebritsen, and lobbyist Joel Carlson to discuss legislation for the RTC, LGA, economic development incentives, the sales tax expansion and property tax relief. Their direct involvement and support is critical to addressing our most essential needs in Fergus Falls and all of Greater Minnesota. They helped to make it a productive and positive day at the Capital.
Natural Gas (CNG)
Will Fergus Falls be the first future site for a compressed natural gas fueling station in West Central Minnesota?
The Fergus Falls EIC and West Central Initiative hosted a CNG fueling infrastructure session this past week which highlighted enormous fuel cost savings to all consumers While utilizing a clean fuel with fewer exhaust emissions than gasoline or diesel fuel. Vehicle exhaust is the single largest source of air pollution.
Clean Energy is a CNG company leading the Way to build CNG fueling stations. This a ground floor energy technology that we need to embrace for our future economic well being
Senator Amy Klobuchar
The Senator visited Fergus Falls this past week to discuss workforce training issues with educators from M-State and community healthcare providers.
The meeting was hosted by PioneeCare. Senator Klobuchar is looking for ways in which the federal government can be of assistance and support to our State to help us provide and train a Workforce that can meet our demand and needs. We greatly appreciate the Senators concern and support.
The Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce (C of C), Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). and the Economic Improvement Commission (EIC) will host the annual Business and Community Expo Wednesday, March 6 at the Bigwood Event Center.
Expo 2013 “A Start-up and Early-state Company Showcase” will focus on entrepeneurism and pathways to success.
The morning will feature presentations by three early stage companies and highlight their products and focus on theirjourneys as young entrepeneurs.
David Russick, Executive Director of an angel investment firm called “Gopher Angels”, will speak on what angel investors look for in funding young companies and explore their interest in Fergus Falls.
The day will feature nearly 100 booth exhibitors displaying their Wares and services along with a free program welcoming the general public from 1 to 5 p.m.
The Business and Community Expo Will be an enlightening business experience with a promise of putting “spring” into our local economy. We hope to see you there.
Hal Leland is the mayor of Fergus Falls.