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Medina Economic Development aims to help local businesses

The group's executive administrator hopes to use the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. as a resource.

JSSP Jamestown News
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JAMESTOWN – An economic development group that started operations in Medina aims to be a resource to help and promote businesses in the community, according to Tiffany Dockter, executive administrator with the Medina Economic Development.

Medina Economic Development, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was started earlier this year to help “bring life back into Medina,” Dockter said.

“We want to have a place (where) people want to continue to raise their families and then grow,” she said, noting Medina has a lot of younger families.

Dockter gave a report on Medina Economic Development on Monday, Oct. 10, at the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. Board of Directors meeting. She said she wanted to know how Medina Economic Development can partner with the JSDC and use the organization as a resource.

“You’ve absolutely come to the right place for support,” said Connie Ova, CEO of JSDC. “We can give you all of the connections that we have and perhaps together we can talk about whether or not we can go to the county for some additional funding for you.”

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Dockter said Medina Economic Development has a board of directors with seven members. She said one spot is currently vacant but the board is waiting for an individual to accept an invitation to serve on the board.

Dockter said her role on the board started as a grant writer.

“However it turned into being a much bigger job than any of us had anticipated,” she said. “Now I’m paid staff. I’m no longer on the board. … We are all very new. Our board is new. The whole concept is new to our town.”

One of Medina Economic Development’s goals is to apply for and issue grants, Dockter said. She said the organization wants to apply for grants for Medina Economic Development and for businesses as well.

“If they come to us, we will be a grant writer resource for them,” she said. “But we also want to issue private grants through us as well. So we are looking for funding through our grants that we are applying for to be able to issue grants for the businesses in town or the startup businesses.”

In a couple of years, the organization will look to get a gaming license to have some revolving funds so it can manage itself without help, she said.

Dockter said the organization plans on offering low-interest gap financing for businesses.

“If they have some money they can’t quite get through the banks and need that extra $5,000 to $10,000, we want to be able to provide that as well,” she said.

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Medina Economic Development is looking to acquire property in Medina that can be turned into senior living housing. The organization is also looking to acquire property on Main Street that could include office space for Medina Economic Development and be a resource to the community by providing Wi-Fi and computers for people who are camping in the area or by creating a laundromat.

“We have a lot of really awesome ideas for a place on Main Street to help build up our Main Street,” she said.

In other business, Ova said she met with members of the Bison World Fund to figure out funding for the Bison World project. The Bison World Fund is a nonprofit corporation seeking financing for the project.

“We are continuing to work with the GA Group to talk with legislators and try to figure out what is going on with the funding for Bison World,” she said. “The Legacy Fund is still in flux, still in question. It’s looking like we really do need to look for other investment opportunities.”

Investment opportunities include private investments, seeking bonds or any other opportunities that would be available for an economic development-related project, Ova said after the meeting.

The Bison World project is a cultural and theme park that would be located on land utilized as pasture for the National Buffalo Museum herd in southwest Jamestown. When complete, the park would include an amphitheater, museums and other attractions to entertain and educate people about the American bison, which is the national mammal.

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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