Otsego joins Wright County economic development group

by Bob Grawey
Staff writer
Otsego City Council members took another step at the Aug. 8 city council meeting to ensure the city is positioned for growth once the economy jump starts development again.
After hiring Lori Johnson as its new city administrator in July, the council approved a resolution Johnson brought forward that would increase city visibility among potential developers.
The resolution, passed unanimously, is for membership in the Wright County Economic Development Partnership (WCEDP) and meets one of the council’s goals for economic development in Otsego.
Johnson says through membership in the WCEDP, the city can become better connected to retail, commercial and industrial development opportunities.
The partnership group represents the 16 Wright County cities and their goals for economic development through marketing and via county-wide brand positioning.
It then markets each city by composing a list of all available land and buildings for industrial and retail development. This master list is posted on the WCEDP Web page and the information is distributed directly to interested parties as well.
Development leads are gathered by the Greater Minneapolis St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership (Greater MSP), which attracts regional interest, and funneled to the WCEDP. The WCEDP then forwards the leads on to the appropriate municipal agencies.
Johnson says Otsego could ask Greater MSP to forward leads directly to the city, but that arrangement does not fit into the way Greater MSP is organized. The exception to the rule, she adds, could mean missed opportunities.
As a member of WCEDP, Otsego will get all development leads from Greater MSP.
Membership fees are pro rated for 2011. Normally, the annual cost for Otsego would be $2,382, but since the city’s membership starts in August, the cost is just $992.50.