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County to budget for NWID fees

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Plymouth County Supervisors may choose to pay the county's entire fee to belong to the Northwest Iowa Development group.

Tuesday, the board set aside dollars to cover the $18,739 annual membership fee from the economic development fund in the county's 2013-14 budget.

Northwest Iowa Development (NWID) is a group that markets a six-county region including Plymouth, Cherokee, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola and Sioux counties.

In the current fiscal year, the board of supervisors requested the city of Le Mars pay a portion of the NWID membership fee.

The supervisors had also attempted to talk with leaders in other Plymouth County cities to gauge their interest in contributing to the cost.

Supervisor Mark Loutsch said Tuesday that he hadn't found any city willing to be involved.

Supervisors Craig Anderson and Don Kass noted similar experiences.

"One of the cities I talked to said they had no interest, zero," Anderson said. "The other one said they would have some interest, but had no money to put into it."

Kass suggested the county pay the entire NWID membership fee, and have its own vote on NWID decisions.

"If we're paying the whole thing, we're having the whole say," he said.

Currently, the voting member for Plymouth County is Neal Adler, executive director of the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation.

Supervisor Jack E. Guenthner, who attends NWID meetings as part of his committee assignments, said he would be willing to be the county's voting member.

The supervisors asked Guenthner to meet with city of Le Mars officials as to their thoughts on the county's suggestion.

If the county does choose to foot the whole membership bill, that doesn't mean cities can't still participate, Kass said.

"In reality the small towns in the county struggle with their own budget without adding some more to it," Anderson added. "They have trouble seeing the benefit."

Guenthner agreed to approach city of Le Mars officials about the county paying the entire membership fee and being the voting member.

"It will be a benefit to everybody," Guenthner said.

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