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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 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.

Rubin and about 45 other area people interested in business traveled to Madison earlier this week. The two-day trip was called "United St. Croix Valley 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.

The agenda this year included the following issues:

  • Consolidation of state tax credits;
  • State tax exemption - health savings accounts;
  • West Central Freeway (I-94), U.S. Hwy. 8 and feeder systems;
  • St. Croix River crossing;
  • Media access;
  • Research and scientific park.

    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 Trudy Popenhagen of Hudson. Other board members are Jeremy Price (first vice president) of Hudson; Patti Robertson (second vice president) of Hudson; Dale Jorgenson (treasurer/secretary) of River Falls; Greg Ewig (past president) of Hudson; Gordon Awsumb of Hudson; Pam Brion of Hudson; Jerry Brown of New Richmond; Mark DeBehnke of Glenwood City; Ann Hall of Hudson; Don Jordan of Hudson; Willard Moeri of Roberts; Barbara Nemecek of River Falls; Roger Rebholz of Hudson; Annette Rud of New Richmond; Thomas Schumacher of Baldwin; Ryan Sicard of Somerset; Nicolas Vivian of Stillwater; and Marty Wold of New Richmond

    Late last month, 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!

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