The 2020 Economic Vitality Task Force, the short-term planning project designed to come up with a comprehensive economic development strategy in the face of the Potlatch mill closing, is expected to have a final report in early 2004.
The report includes an economic vision for the area with guidance and direction in an overall plan for the region.
Sheila Haverkamp, Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corp. executive director, said the plan needs to be reviewed, discussed and then implemented with focus on priorities and limited resources.
The task force was created in response to the loss of 616 Potlatch jobs, but has a broader goal to look at the overall economic development in the lakes area. The Brainerd area received a $50,000 short-term planning grant from the Economic Development Administration in the aftermath of Potlatch's closing.
The $50,000 EDA grant was matched by pledges of $52,500 from Potlatch, the Initiative Foundation, Minnesota Power, the Brainerd School District, Crow Wing County and the cities of Brainerd and Baxter. Potlatch provided $20,000 of the local match.
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