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Our View: St. Croix EDC works hard behind the scenes

The St. Croix County Economic Development Corp. is a hard-working group in the Hudson area that performs a tremendous service that, in the long run, has a positive economic impact on everyone.

The organization, headed by Bill Rubin, deserves some praise and recognition. The mission of the St. Croix Economic Development Corp. is to encourage and assist economic development and capital investment, to enhance the tax base, to create jobs and to assist businesses in expansion, retention and/or location within the economic development area.

The "St. Croix County" part of the title is a bit deceiving because the organization is funded by a number of sources. By imperfect measurements, the organization is funded roughly a third each by three entities: St. Croix County, various towns and cities in the county, and a long list of county businesses.

Formed in 1993, The SCEDC is a private, non-profit organization which operates exclusively for the economic development of St. Croix County and the respective cities, villages and towns therein. Its office is in the St. Croix County Government Center in Hudson.

As part of their service to the business community, Rubin and other area people interested in business traveled to Madison earlier this year. The trip was part of the Legislative Days and was intended to make the concerns of northwest Wisconsin known to lawmakers in Madison.

The group's agenda included reminding legislators from around Wisconsin that the St. Croix Valley is an important business, education and transportation center.

The group also lobbies for legislation that will be friendly to the St. Croix Valley.

Nineteen individuals from all areas of St. Croix County serve on the SCEDC board of directors. The board meets monthly to conduct regular business. The current board is headed by President Roger Humphrey of Woodville. Other directors are Marian Furlong of Hudson (first vice president); Mark Casey of New Richmond (second vice president); Paul Schwebach of River Falls (secretary/treasurer); Ryan Sicard of Somerset (past president); Michelle Erdman of Baldwin, Greg Gerard of Hudson, George Hauser of River Falls, Dawn Hukai of River Falls, Chuck Jerrick of Hudson, Gregg Knapp of Hudson, Lisa Knutson of Baldwin, Mark Mitchell of New Richmond, Dave Ostness of River Falls, Steve Peterson of Hammond, Duane Russett of Baldwin, Travis Schachtner of Somerset, Thomas Schumacher of Baldwin and Scott Wagner of Hudson.

Late last week, the SCEDC had its annual Business of the Year awards program to select and recognize outstanding businesses in St. Croix County. It's gratifying to see an organization dedicated to working hard on behalf of local and area businesses -- still the backbone of America.