A new organization aimed at growing the local economy is getting its footing in Haines. The Haines Economic Development Corporation secured funding from the borough for its first year. Now, it needs someone to do the work.
Last month, the assembly agreed to give the HEDC, a new private non-profit, $95,000 in seed money. The HEDC has three immediate goals. The group wants to gather baseline economic data, develop a strategic plan, and hire an executive director.
At first the HEDC posted a job description that would have the director compile the economic data and draw up the plan. But they didn’t get the kind of applications they were looking for.
At a meeting this week, the HEDC board talked about separating the tasks.
“Put out RFPs for the professional work, which is the baseline data and the strategic plan,” said Jessica Edwards. “So those are two RFPs.”
Edwards said the cost of outsourcing for the baseline data and strategic plan is estimated at between $10,000 and $50,000. That’s based on figures she got from a couple companies.
That leaves at least $45,000 from the borough funding. Board members said that money could potentially be used to hire someone locally who could oversee the first year of work.
Board president Kyle Gray said they’re trying to think of ways to use the funding most effectively.
“What is the best way to get the most out of our money? If we can get a very comprehensive baseline data done by another entity then that can heavily influence the strategic plan in the best ways,” said Gray.
Greg Schlachter said putting out the RFPs doesn’t mean that’s the direction the group has to go, but it would give them options.
“There’s nothing lost if we send out an RFP and get an idea of the cost on this and then can find someone potentially to facilitate these happening,” said Schlachter.
The board will meet again on Thursday, Oct. 19 to finalize the RFPs.