Tuesday, July 06, 1999
Statewide Support Growing Exponentially The Michigan Economic Development Corporation's Executive Committee will tomorrow consider the addition of 16 new economic development corporations to the Interlocal Agreement that forms the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The applicants include Oakland, Mason, Arenac, Chippewa, Genesee, Iron, Jackson, Montmorency, Oceana, Ogemaw, Schoolcraft, St. Joseph and Tuscola County Economic Development Corporations, along with the city of Grand Rapids, Coldwater and Hancock Economic Development Corporations. "The list is growing and it's another sign that economic development agencies around the state believe in this new corporation," said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "We have endeavored to become a leaner, more efficient agency, able to address the needs of businesses at the pace of business, and we're succeeding." Signing the Interlocal Agreement formalizes a partnership for economic development that already exists between state and local units of government. The Interlocal Agreement is an agreement authorized under the Urban Cooperation Act of 1967. The Act allows the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) and local economic development organizations to join together to further enhance common economic development programs and functions. The eight who had previously signed the Agreement are Wayne, Muskegon, Berrien, Saginaw, Marquette, and Gratiot County Economic Development Corporations, along with the Economic Development Corporations for the city of Dearborn and Delta Township. The initial term of the Agreement is ten years and may be renewed by the MSF for two additional five-year terms. Local economic development corporations are not required to pay to become a signatory to the Interlocal Agreement and can sign-on to the agreement at any time, pending the approval of the Corporation Executive Committee, a 17-member group appointed by the Governor. "We hope to have other signatories in the coming months," Rothwell said. "The stronger our ties with local developers, the more beneficial we will be to the state's overall economic development."