ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
5095 4th Street
Eagle River, Michigan 49950
Todd Holmstrom, Chairman
Tess Ahlborn, Secretary
Keweenaw County Courthouse 5095 Fourth Street, Eagle
1st Wednesday of each month, 6:00 pm
Keweenaw County has an Economic Development Steering
Committee that was created by the county board. The
Committee currently consists of a committee of the
whole, meaning that members of the county board as well
as voluntary participation by citizens of the community
are involved. The county board may assist the EDSC by
loaning or contributing funds, but the most important
relationship has to do with the requirement that EDSC
plans must be submitted to the county board for
approval. The EDSC must also file an annual report with
the county board.
What is a CEDS, County
Economic Development Strategy?
The Western U.P. Planning and Development Region
published a narrative “Keweenaw 2000, Economic
Adjustment Strategy for Keweenaw County” in May, 1997,
which listed projects that each township within the
county felt were needed for improving economic
stability. Since that time, the county has annually
updated the status of projects to incorporate into the
Community Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) which is
required by EDA for funding eligibility. The 2007
projects submitted for funding consideration include:
Calumet Air Force Radar Station,
Mt. Bohemia Ski Hill/Lac La Belle Courthouse
Industrial Park, Construct Infrastructure (Allouez
Friends of the Land of
Keweenaw (FOLK) issued a
covering the Keweenaw Peninsula: Investing in the Keweenaw's Future - Moving Towards Sustainable
Development, a progressive report which introduced the
concepts of sustainability that are now widely accepted.
Why do we want an
Economic Development Plan?
One of the things we first think of is the need to
develop an industrial park and wait for the potential
users to come and occupy the facilities, but the rewards
can be very slow in coming. The first objective should
be to retain the jobs that presently exist in the
county. Once present employment is relatively secure,
begin to think about expansion through a close
examination of the county’s strengths and weaknesses in
relation to industrial or commercial prospects.
Inventorying resources needs
to be high on the list of activities of the EDC.
Gathering, assembling, and analyzing inventory data may
provide some insights as to the types of enterprises
that may find the county to be an attractive location.
An EDC board must put together a fairly detailed plan
before buying property or establishing a project. All of
this is preparatory to seeking the required approval
from the board of county commissioners.
What is the role of an
Economic Development Plan?
The central purpose of a plan is to encourage business
activity, industrial development, and job formation.
Development impacts extend beyond simply jobs and
income. There is a need to evaluate the full impacts of
any type of development event.
First, a common
misconception is that economic development is someone
else’s problem or that it occurs naturally. Communities
that are successful in economic development, however,
have invariably organized themselves and their resources
to address the concerns of economic development and
Second, communities have
multiple interests and objectives that are often
perceived to be in conflict. The active participation of
interested parties oftentimes reduces perceived conflict
between competing community goals.
development planning requires an examination of all
aspects of the community so it’s important to have a
broad, diverse group involved in the planning process.
For in-migration of industries, the relevant questions
that need to be addressed include setting aside land for
industrial development, insuring that public
infrastructure services are in place, and that the
nature of the targeted businesses are complementary to
the broader goals of the community.
A significant source of new
business development comes from firms that are
“home-grown” and have a greater sense of community
commitment. A significant proportion of job and income
opportunities originate within the existing local firms.
The more efficient firms are the more they can return
economic wealth to the community.
Examples of specific
community-based initiatives to help existing business
capacities of existing forms through educational
growth through identification of equity and loan
Increasing knowledge of
new technology through educational programs in
science and engineering.
Aiding employers in
improving work force quality through educational
programs, counseling, and social services.
Developing of community
and regional facilities that improve local business
efficiency and access to non-local markets.
Identification of market
potential for new retail, wholesale, and
Examples of specific
activities that local communities can pursue to attract
new businesses include:
Development of local
industrial sites and public services
Dissemination of labor
information to potential employers
recreational, communication, and service facilities
necessary to attract new employers
Identify and organize
community capital resources to assist in attracting
new business (revenue bonding, bank loans)
Click here for the
complete inventory (PDF File) compiled in 2000 by
A number of these projects have since been completed.