Ashland Steers Toward Economic Success

By KBJR News 1

August 13, 2012 Updated Aug 13, 2012 at 6:15 PM CDT

Ashland, WI (Northlands NewsCenter)
-- A city in Northwest Wisconsin is bringing together its people to bring some clarity to its economic future.

Ashland, Wisconsin has formed a committee to put the people back in the driver's seat when it comes to the future of their city.

"The Ashland area development corporation is hosting a process of bringing everyone together to talk through four, five, six different priorities that we can focus on in order to make it a more attractive community," said Northland College President Michael Miller.

A slough of public and private agencies are coming together to help grow this lakeside city from the inside, out.

"We take the major ideas, the major focus groups and create more or less a business plan or each of them," said Matt Crowell, a bank President and who also represents the Ashland Area Development Committee.

"We will probably look at a variety of job sectors to see if there are things we should be pushing out and attracting people towards," said Miller.

This steering committee is trying to eliminate confusion so they are putting their whole plan into a two page document to give them some common ground to go forward into the future.

Two pages made up of things that are already working for Ashland like tourism and manufacturing and new growth opportunities, like a possible iron-ore mine near Mellen.

"If that is one of the ideas that comes to the surface we'll need to dig down deeper and that will be the case at that time."

"Certainly I think mining will be a topic of conversation, there is no question about it."

Whatever the case is for mining, the committee will have a new plan of action in November. The committee is comprised of members from the business, education, health-care, government, and tribal sectors.