November 2017
Region Nine's Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report
In the Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report, you can see a snapshot of the variety of accomplishments of the past year. Reflecting on the past shows us how far we have come and how nimble Region Nine has been to meet the region’s needs.

The purpose of Region Nine is to promote the development of the region. This is best done by addressing issues that face the region head on. For example, the It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race that began this past year does just that. As mentioned in this report, these forums create dialogues that eventually can lead to more welcoming communities for diverse populations.

Looking forward, Region Nine will continue to provide programs, planning and assistance to meet the region’s changing needs. Thank you to our staff, commissioners, and partners who help make our successes possible.

Nicole Griensewic Mickelson
Executive Director
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The Region Nine’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Annual Performance Report for Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca and Watonwan counties has been developed and is in a 30-day review and comment period. The CEDS is posted in accordance to EDA’s regulations found in the Federal Register at 13 C.F.R. part 303.
As the designated Economic Development District by the U.S. Economic Development Administration for the nine county area of south central Minnesota, Region Nine is required to coordinate and develop the CEDS for the region every five years and submit a supplemental annual performance report for subsequent years. This strategy is designed to be an action-based economic plan to diversify and strengthen the regional economy. The strategies outlined are derived from locally-based, regionally-driven planning sessions with representation from private business, higher education, labor, education, government and community-based organizations.
Local Support – The Ultimate Key to Success
Small businesses are the backbone of every local economy, and community support is crucial for these businesses to succeed. An example of a small business that thrives off of the support of the community is the Rainbow Food Co-op of Blue Earth.

“Our customer base is extremely loyal,” stated Connie Johannsen, assistant manager and board secretary for the co-op. “Many customers have been shopping here for years and now the next generation of the family is carrying out the tradition.” 

The local following of the Rainbow Food Co-op is what has kept it growing and thriving for the past 38 years. Another reason that the Rainbow Food Co-op has seen such success is the wide variety of products that they offer.
Rainbow Food Co-op will be attending the 2017  Feast! Local Foods Marketplace  to once again make connections with more regional food businesses and farms. They are continuing the tradition of bringing healthy local foods to co-op shoppers by coming to this ‘best of the Midwest’ food show to talk with food businesses and to enjoy samples.
Saturday, December 2
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Mayo Civic Center, Rochester
Emergency Responders Practice Communication
Region Nine 's regional emergency management planner and communications specialist lead a tabletop exercise focused on communications for southern Minnesota emergency managers and public information officers in Austin, MN.

Participants where given a real-world scenario of a train derailment on the Minnesota/Iowa border. The 20 participants were then asked to identify resources needed, create messaging for the public, conduct a one-on-one interview with a local reporter and hold a mock press conference.

Learn more about this event by watching the KAALTV news story.
$$ Grant Opportunities $$
Workforce Housing Grant
Up to $2 million in grant funds are available from Minnesota Housing to build market-rate residential rental properties in communities with proven job growth and demand for workforce rental housing. Communities are required to secure matching funds that, at a minimum, match one dollar for every two dollars in funding offered through the program.

Eligible applicants must satisfy the following requirements:
  • Must be an eligible project area (generally small and medium sized cities in Greater Minnesota)
  • Must be working with a developer
  • Must have a viable proposal for the development of a Market Rate Residential Rental Property, which can include mixed income

Deadline: January 25
City Fire Service Planning
The Service Planning Grant Program through the Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division funds third-party feasibility studies regarding fire services. The funds help local agencies identify ways to work together to enhance local fire services.

The study will include:
  • A clear set of goals that identifies how the participating fire departments/cities/townships will more efficiently plan for future service improvements in the areas of (but not limited to) training, department administration, personnel, equipment or department consolidation.
  • An analysis of the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency response and benefit to the population served. 

Deadline: January 31
Calendar of Events
November 23: Office Closed - Thanksgiving
November 24: Office Closed