Revised board takes office

A newly re-structured Pelican Rapids Economic Development Authority board has taken office. Pictured here are the members, and their positions:
President- Brent Frazier, Vice President- Ryan Binek, Secretary- Danielle Harthun, Treasurer- Lana Grefsrud, Assistant Treasurer- Lance Rosium, Members- Kevin Ballard, Arianna Zavala.

By Louis Hoglund

Economic development efforts will be stepped up in the closing months of 2023 in Pelican Rapids. 

A list of more than a dozen economic development-related projects has been developed by the city’s new economic development director, Jordan Grossman. But, under the contract between Grossman and CEDA, her work was limited to two days per week on-site. 

“The project list is getting larger,” said Grossman. “We’d like to be here more often, as applicable.” 

Additional days, likely three to four a week, are within the city’s budget. Because the ED position was not filled until midway through the year, about $14,000 remains in the city’s economic development budget—which would cover additional services through 2023. 

The council voted unanimously to increase Grossman’s activity in the community through the new year. 

CEDA is a non-profit organization that serves numerous small cities and jurisdictions throughout the state and midwest, with grant-writing, planning, and other services. The Pelican council voted to contract with CEDA—rather than the generally higher expense of an on-staff economic development director. 

Among the list of projects presented by Grossman: 

• Focusing on the possibility that the dissolved Congregational church building could be re-purposed as a multi-use building. Among the prospects are a youth center, community kitchen, meeting space, and other uses.

• Partnering with Otter Tail County on the state’s Small Cities Development Program 

• Restructuring and revitalizing the city’s Economic Development Authority 

• Housing initiatives, including searching for grants and funding

• Possible grants to fund a renovation of the stone bathhouse at Sherin Park, which serves visitors at the city campground. 

• Partnering with the school on transportation infrastructure programs. 

• A marketing strategy for economic development

• Business meet and greet events.