MSDC board discusses direction for economic development efforts
The Marshall-Saline Development Corporation is about to publish its new strategic plan, which organization officals say represents the direction the economic development organization wants to move in.
Board member Gene Fangmann said the plan isn't about goals and achievements but general directions.
Interim Director Bill Riggins said, "Saline County has been going downhill for about 100 years and I want to see Saline County turn around. (That means) drawing more productive people to Saline County."
The steering committee recommended five focus areas: attracting new industry, retail and commercial development, expand local industry, create homegrown business and retirement industry development.
The MSDC board members did not offer quantifiable benchmarks how success will be defined in its strategic plan, but Riggins said quality of life is important.
In furtherance of the organizations strategic plan, the board voted to table the search for a new executive director for several months.
Riggins has served as interim executive director since Roy Hunter's retirement on April 1.
At Tuesday's board meeting, Riggins informed the board that he wasn't going to follow the approved budget.
"If I don't hear any objections from the board, we're not going to follow that budget," Riggins said. "I found out real quick you can't get anything done sitting behind a desk, you have to go out and meet people. I'm going to be gone a lot more, traveling. ... We're not going to run in the red, but we're going to shift a lot of funds around."
President Jene Crook suggested tabling the search for a new executive director for several months.
"My feeling is that maybe we should let the process gel another month or two or three unless Bill throws up his hands and says, 'I want out,'" Crook said.
In other business, Riggins informed the board that project Slice notified MSDC that Marshall did not make the final cut due to utility costs. Project Janis is still reviewing site locations and a new project dubbed "Cornerstone" was opened this week, Riggins said.