Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, April 17, 2000

Brochure to promote Wright County

By John Holler

While many longtime county residents are stunned by the explosive growth of Wright County, there are several reasons for it.

Not only its proximity to the Twins Cities, but what has made many residents of the county longtime residents - it's numerous lakes and small town atmosphere.

Those were the selling points that brought Heidi Peper of the Wright County Economic Development Partnership before the Wright County Board at its April 11 meeting.

Peper presented the board with an information brochure - entitled "The Wright Location" - that the partnership is using to entice more business into Wright County - a packet that highlights what is good about the county as place to open a business as well as a place to live.

"This is something that we are looking to send out to contractors, developers and builders," Peper said. "The idea is to put Wright County on their radar screen."

The package highlights several factors that make Wright County a place to start businesses, including location, a pro-business environment, a growing workforce, education levels higher than the state average in the county, health care and quality of life - which includes everything from 2,800 acres of county parkland to 298 lakes.

While the commissioners were impressed with the information package, Commissioner Pat Sawatzke took exception to one aspect of the package - asking that future publications be changed to reflect his concerns.

Under the "pro-business" heading, the brochure claims that Wright County offers lower wages than neighboring counties - which Sawatzke said concerned him.

"I don't want people to think that they can come into Wright County and open a business just because they can get lower wages here," Sawatzke said. "We've made an effort here to try to get the wages up and I think it's a bit misleading when we advertise that the wages here are lower than a company could get by locating somewhere else."

Peper said the folders will be available for cities to use in their own marketing strategies to get more industry and business to choose Wright County and their cities to locate expanding business opportunities. By and large, the board approved of the program and said that it will be a valuable tool in keeping the county's growth prosperous well into the new millennium.

"We've seen a lot of good things coming out of (the development partnership," Commissioner Elmer Eichelberg said. "It's good for us to see programs like this accomplishing as much as this one is."

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