Chisago County HRA - EDA
38871  7th Avenue
P.O. Box 815
North Branch, Minnesota 55056
(651) 674-5664
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Economic Development

Goal:               Promote and maintain a high quality of life in Chisago County by encouraging business development and private investment using as few county and city dollars as possible.

Objective:     Expand Local Commercial/Industrial Tax Base

          Existing Tax Base Composition, Percent Market Value Commercial/Industrial

Harris – 5.05%

Chisago County – 5.33%
Statewide Average – 15.31%
Metro Counties Average – 19.81
Non-metro Counties Average – 8.94% (Source: MN Dept. of Revenue, 2002)

Center City – 6.61%
Taylors Falls – 8.00%
Lindstrom – 9.38%
Chisago City – 9.92%
North Branch – 11.8%
Wyoming – 14.26%
Stacy – 17.42%
Statewide Average – 19.85%
Shafer – 21.20%
Rush City – 22.26%
(2000 Data, League of Minnesota Cities)
Work Plan
  • Continue the County’s business retention and expansion program.
  • Assist start-up and expanding businesses obtain financing to keep them in Chisago County.
  • Market the County/Cities as a great place to live and do business – support and encourage new business development opportunities.

Objective:     Create “buildable” sites with infrastructure to attract new commercial/industrial businesses.  There are very few available sites in Chisago County that are suitable for commercial/industrial development that have the necessary infrastructure in place.

Work Plan
  • Expand the County’s Commercial/Industrial Park Development Program.
  • Work with communities to provide TIF assistance to finance infrastructure improvements and offer business incentives.
  • Work with cities in the county to identify and protect areas that are suitable for industrial/commercial development.

Objective:     Create new jobs; retain existing jobs and increase wages for residents in the County

                65-80% of Chisago County’s working residents commute outside of the area to work everyday.

                   Based on 4th Qtr. 2001 information from the Minnesota Department of Economic Security, the average statewide hourly wage is $18.33 per hour.  In Chisago County, the average hourly wage is $13.88 per hour.  Chisago County workers make $9,256 per year less than the statewide average.   

                    Work Plan

  • Encourage and support new high-tech, high-wage paying business development opportunities in the county.

  • Work with DEED and Minnesota Technology, Inc. to identify potential new business relocation/expansion opportunities.

  • Create a Countywide Technology Revolving Loan Fund (potential funding sources include: consortium of local banks, through the use of Community Investment Credits, Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program, Intermediary Re-Lending Program, Minnesota Investment Fund).

  • Work with existing businesses on expansion opportunities.

  • Develop a “technology campus” that focuses on high tech businesses or start-up companies.

Objective:     Promote affordable high-speed internet access for business retention & recruitment

                   Top 3 things businesses are currently looking for when selecting a site:

1.) Available Workforce
Inexpensive land, buildings, infrastructure and gap financing
Communications systems – to communicate with customers/corporate offices in Minneapolis/St. Paul and/or other states

Work Plan

  • Work closely with the MN Department of Administration to ensure a voice for Chisago County on the MN Rural Internet Initiative.
  • Work closely with Minnesota Technology, Inc. to stay in tune with the latest changes in telecommunications technology.
  • Identify affordable access to broadband connectivity for all areas of the County.
  • Explore wireless Internet opportunities for all areas of the County.

Housing/Community Development

Objective:     Promote and maintain a high quality of life in Chisago County by: 1) assisting our communities redevelop and rehabilitate substandard and deteriorating homes and commercial properties, 2) assisting our seniors find affordable rental housing, and 3) assisting homebuyers purchase their first home in the County.

           Work Plan

  • Assist Rush City in administering its new single-family housing development Small Cites Development Program.
  • Assist Center City in administering its Small Cities Development Program to construct new senior housing units and rehabilitate its commercial and rental housing buildings.
  • Work with the City of Taylors Falls to apply for Small Cities Development Program funds for commercial and housing rehabilitation.
  • Work with the City of Lindstrom to apply for Small Cities Development Program funds for commercial and housing rehabilitation.
  • Work with the City of Harris to apply for Small Cities Development Program funds to make improvements to its water system and for commercial and housing rehabilitation.

At $13.88 per hour, (using standard mortgage underwriting criteria) an average worker could afford to purchase a $95,000 home.  There are very few $95,000 homes currently on the market in Chisago County – the low end is closer to $150,000.

  • Apply for additional DEED and Minnesota Housing Finance Agency first-time homebuyer programs on behalf of the County.

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Copyright 2002 Chisago County HRA-EDA, MN
Last revised: November 28, 2012

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