The board for the newly formed Great Bend Economic Development Inc. is starting to take shape. The new 501 c (6) non-profit entity replaces the long-standing relationship the city had with the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce for economic development services.
The GBED will be governed by a five-member board of directors. Two positions will be selected by the council with priority given to sitting council members, two will be selected by the chamber, and those first four board members will then select the remaining at-large member.
When it met Wednesday morning, the chamber Executive Board made its selections, said chamber Executive Director Megan Barfield.
The City Council meets Monday night, and will make its choices then, city Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said. The four names will be announced at that time.
After that, the four will set a schedule to fill the at-large seat. That will be announced at the Nov. 18 council meeting.
The commission will hire a full-time director, the advertising for which has already started. The goal is to have this job filled by the end of the year.
On Oct. 6, the council approved of the articles of incorporation and bylaws for commission. At the Oct. 21 meeting, Mayor Joe Andrasek named council members Jessica Milsap, Dana Dawson and Cory Urban to an ad hoc committee to review applications.
In September, the council voted to accept a mayoral committee’s recommendation to create a standalone nonprofit organization whose purpose would be to conduct economic development activities. This replaces the long-standing agreement the city had with the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce to handle economic development efforts.
The committee, which included city and chamber representation, drafted articles of incorporation and bylaws. Both entities had to OK these guidelines.
Applications were sought through Oct. 21. In addition to the five members, ex-officio members will include the mayor, city administrator, chamber executive committee chairperson and Convention and Visitors Bureau director.
The chairperson shall be selected by the board.
The city’s economic development funding will continue to be derived from the 20% of the half-cent sales tax.