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Economic liaison is on tap

Andy Bourelle

Douglas County should have an economic development liaison by December.

The Economic Development Review Board, a five-member group of people responsible for hiring and directing the activities of the liaison, has received eight applications. And the board is happy about every one of them.

“We are very impressed with the caliber and qualifications of all eight members,” said Mary Davis, chair of the board. “Because of the outstanding credentials of each applicant, the review board has decided to speak with every one.”

The interviews are being held this month.

Sandy Cable, executive director of the Business Council of Douglas County, said the board will have to narrow the applicants to two or three, do follow-up interviews and the position would be put into place by late November. She would not release the names of the applicants, but said they were all “wonderfully qualified.”

The purpose of the liaison, a part-time position, is to assist the Northern Nevada Development Authority in bringing more businesses to Douglas County. The liaison would work with all entities involved in economic development, focusing exclusively on Douglas County.

The review board is composed of representatives from different entities which have made financial contributions to the project: County Commissioner Kelly Kite represents Douglas County; Northern Nevada Development Authority Executive Director Kris Holt represents the NNDA; Gary Cook, Carson Valley Business Park; Dave Williams, Williams Ridge Technical Park; and Davis, Business Council of Douglas County.

The board will not be dissolved once the liaison is named. It will continue to monitor the liaison’s performance, working with him or her to encourage manufacturers and other businesses to relocate to the county.

The liaison has been an idea the Business Council has been looking at for years, Cable said, but members decided to create the position now as a result of a survey earlier this year.

The council surveyed 14 companies which had decided to relocate to Northern Nevada, considered Douglas County and decided to go elsewhere instead. The survey tried to find out why they chose to go elsewhere, and what the county could do to change that for the future.

“They literally came to Northern Nevada, and Douglas County was out of the picture after they looked,” Cable said. “So the Business Council decided someone needs to take a leadership role. We found we needed someone who would focus exclusively on Douglas County.”

Cable said the Business Council believes the county needs to bring in manufacturers, diversify its tax base and provide better job opportunities for its residents.