WTIP’s Kelly Schoenfelder attended last night’s GO Team meeting at St. John's Catholic Church in Grand Marais. She reports just over 40 people turned out for the second of four public meetings. The gathering was an opportunity for members of the GO Team to present their draft economic vision for the future of Cook County, as well as collect input and garner support for the initiative from community members.
(Click on the PDFs above to read the economic vision draft, as well as the Community Meeting Feedback Form the GO Team is using to gather input for the vision.)
Jim Boyd of the Cook County GO Team, along with Randy Lasky of the Northspan Group and Josh Bergstad of the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, presented a summary of the information they gathered from community members on the state of the economy in Cook County.
The information was based both on answers from over 40 community members in interviews conducted by the GO Team, as well as responses from over 400 residents on an online survey.
Bergstad highlighted some of the economic challenges facing the community, including a graying population, lack of affordable housing, and a dependency on tourism. Lasky presented the draft economic vision prepared by the GO Team and explained some of their potential solutions, including an increase in the county population to 6500 over the next 12 years and the creation of a collaborative marketing plan to strengthen the tourism sector.
While the comments from the attendees were mostly positive, there was some concern expressed about the viability of the plan, lack of buy-in from local government, and whether it can actually create solutions for the struggles and sacrifices of young families trying to make it in the community.
Click here for more information on the Cook County GO Team, as well as copies of the Cook County Economic Analysis and Community Survey results.