Partners Invest in JEDI


 On October 27th, 2011 approximately 15 members including the Board members of  The Society for Joint Economic Development Initiatives (JEDI) met in the County of Wetaskiwin Council chambers for a two meetings – JEDI Organizational Board meeting followed by the 2011 Annual General Meeting.
 JEDI is a regional partnership created to foster sustainable industrial growth. Partners include the City of Wetaskiwin, the County of Wetaskiwin and the Town of Millet.
 JEDI has a mission. The Joint Economic Development Initiative upholds its mission statement to, “provide cooperative, proactive leadership in attracting sustainable growth and supporting a diverse industrial base while respecting the region's high quality of life and the environment”. To move them closer to achieving this mission, they had some business to deal with at the Organizational Meeting and the AGM on October 27th.
 The first item of business leading into the AGM was to appoint and approve an executive to provide overall direction and leadership for the organization and to determine the best means to maximize the use of $345,945 approved in the 2012 operating budget. The 2012 Executive is as follows:

Chairman, Mayor Rob Lorenson, Town of Millet, Vice Chairman, Reeve Garry Dearing, County of Wetaskiwin, Second Vice Chairman, Mayor Bill Elliot, City of Wetaskiwin

Board Members
Alderman Joe Branco, City of Wetaskiwin
Councillor Eleanor Pydde, Town of Millet
Councillor Wayne Meyers, County of Wetaskiwin, No. 10

Management Committee (Ex-Officio)
Chief Administrative Officer Frank Coutney, County of Wetaskiwin, No. 10, Chief Administrative Officer Ted Gillespie, City of Wetaskiwin, Chief Administrative Officer Teri Pelletier, Town of Millet, Charged with carrying out the day-to-day operations is Executive Director, Richard Horncastle and the Economic Development Specialist, Jiselle Sears.

 A presentation of the 2010 Audited Financial Statements for the Society for Joint Economic Development Initiatives (JEDI) by independent auditor Daniel Luymes, BDO Canada LLP reported that JEDI has entered into a grant agreement with Alberta Municipal Affairs to undertake regional economic development initiatives. The auditor pointed out in his statements ‘Continued operation of the Society is dependent on continued membership of the founding municipalities’. Or as he put it, “If you fund JEDI it will keep going, if not, it won’t”.
 The JEDI region will face some challenges in the coming year in terms of achieving its industrial investment attraction and expansion goals.  Neither the organization, nor any of its three municipal partners own or control serviced, ready industrial land which puts much of the control of the pace of development in the hands of private landholders.  Though the region has experienced some industrial growth in the past few years there is still a recovering economy which is a major barrier to contend with and the region still lacks shovel-ready land.  As a result, a focus on both expanding existing industry and working with local land owners to plan, zone, and develop industrial land will take place in the coming year.  Information on all types of land development options including municipal land development opportunities will be explored.
 Amendments to the 2012 JEDI Strategic Plan were presented and the Plan was approved as amended. Featured highlights including goals and objectives for JEDI include:

1.  Core business:  attract new business and investment opportunities
2.  Core business:  retain existing businesses and facilitate business expansion

 The Society approved $$345,945 as the 2012 JEDI Operational Budget. This includes contributions from the 3 partners as follows: County of Wetaskiwin - $126,470, City of Wetaskiwin – $140,166 and the Town of Millet - $24,769.

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