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JDA looking to change strategic plan

By Staff | Dec 2, 2016

The Rugby Job Development Authority board decided at a meeting last Wednesday to form a committee to update its strategic plan.

Board members present who were added to the committee were Jacob Nelson, Nathan Kunde and Mike McNeff.

A concern some board members had was that the board had stagnated in its levels of community engagement, due to challenges the board has faced with leadership.

“It doesn’t seem like we come out of meetings with an action plan or a point group,” said Kunde. “I would definitely like to see a new strategic plan in place and we need the community to give us their feedback.”

McNeff said the big issue is how engaged the board members are. Kunde said that if the JDA wants community buy-in, “it has to start with the board.”

Kunde said another issue related to the strategic plan was the absence of a director. In July the board approved a leave of absence for Executive Director Joseph T. Pelt, who is slated to return in January 2017. Kunde asked if there should be a date where the board can look at hiring an interim director.

Board President Fr. Tom Graner said the board agreed to give Pelt time, however he agreed there would have to be a point where the board would have to make a decision for the JDA.

McNeff said the strategic plan would be difficult without a director to assist in it. Graner said it would be “great” to have a director in the strategic plan, but the plan would be a “positive either way.”

“Ultimately, the board directs the director,” McNeff said.

Board member David Cichos said that Pelt should have involvement in the strategic plan, and that if the JDA decides to look for a different director they might not find a qualified applicant in the community.

The last strategic plan lasted from 2010 to 2015.

Other actions

– The board received an update on the Souris Basin Planning Council’s low income housing rehabilitation projects. Six potential projects were identified in the Rugby area.

Graner informed the board that the Souris Basin Planning Council is looking for a commitment from Pierce County to be part of a Brownfields Coalition Assessment Grant offered by the Environmental Protection Agency. The grant would provide funding for developing inventories, prioritizing sites, and conducting community involvement activities, assessments and cleanup planning of lands deemed brownfield sites. The EPA defines a “brownfield” site as a property whose development, expansion or reuse is complicated by the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances, pollutants, controlled substances, contaminants, petroleum or petroleum products, or the land itself is mine-scarred.

– The board discussed a proposed student loan payment assistance program. No action was taken at this time.

– A new application was filed for a credit card for JDA use. A new credit card application needed to be filed because former Interim Director SyAnn Graber’s name was on it.

– The board approved the Oct. 26 meeting minutes and treasurer’s report.

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