Our View: St. Croix EDC works hard behind the scenesThe 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.
By: Editorial staff, Hudson Star-Observer
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 about 30 other people interested in business concerns, recently participated in the Greater St. Croix Valley Partnership Legislative Day. The group, representing four area counties traveled to the state Capitol to make sure 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.
Despite the recent economic downturn, St. Croix County is still an attractive location for business and business expansion according to Rubin. The EDC still sees Minnesota businesses as prime candidates to come to Wisconsin.
"In side-by-side comparisons of property tax, income tax and sales tax, Wisconsin still comes out ahead when compared to Minnesota," Rubin said.
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 includes President Ryan Sicard of Somerset. Other board members are Roger Humphrey (first vice president) of Woodville, Marian Furlong (second vice president) of Hudson, Mark Casey (treasurer/secretary) of New Richmond, Thomas Schumacher (past president) of Baldwin, Michelle Erdman of Baldwin, Greg Gerard of Hudson, George Hauser of River Falls, Steven Hermsen of Hudson, Frederick Horne of New Richmond, Dawn Hukai of River Falls, Gregg Knapp of Hudson, Lisa Knutson of Baldwin, Steve Peterson of Hammond, Sharon Norton-Bauman of Hudson, Jeremy Price of Hudson, Paul Schwebach of River Falls, Nicolas Vivian of Hudson 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.