WALKER -- The Cass County Board will hear presentations at a future meeting from Aitkin and Itasca counties concerning their economic development programs.
Tuesday, Administrator Robert Yochum reported to the board eight neighboring counties do provide some funding toward economic development and housing, with most funding it through property tax levies, though two use tax forfeit fund proceeds.
Cass dropped its economic development funding this year after about 10 years of making allocations.
Itasca County spends the most, $180,000. Wadena spends the least, $4,049.
Minnesota State Demographic Center projects Cass' population will grow by 24 percent from 2000 to 2010 and be 67 percent higher by 2030.
Yochum presented a Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis report he found on the Internet, giving what he thought would provide an independent view of lake country economies.
The report focuses on lake regions in Montana, Minnesota, the Dakotas and Wisconsin.
It indicates that while lakes draw population growth and become an attractive location for retirees, the wages paid for retail and service jobs cannot match wages once paid in these areas to loggers and miners, nor does it match income once made by successful farming.
Higher incomes generally are made in the construction contracting industry, according to the report, but wages in growing lake country areas generally run below that of other areas.
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