Bedford taps Monroe Co. development group

Corporation’s task is to attract new businesses


TEMPERANCE — Bedford Township is joining the city of Monroe, village of Dundee, Whiteford, Monroe and Frenchtown townships, and Monroe County in using the Monroe County Business Development Corp. to take the lead in its efforts to attract new businesses.

The township board last week unanimously approved a contract that will pay the BDC, as it is known, $7,500 in 2014. The funds will be paid in quarterly installments, with the understanding that the agreement can be terminated by either party with 90 days’ notice.

In return, the BDC will become the township’s economic-development arm. It will monitor the needs of the community’s existing businesses and promote the township in area economic-development groups in Ann Arbor, Detroit, and northwest Ohio.

“We think there are great opportunities for Bedford Township, Monroe County, and the state of Michigan,” Tim Lake, the nonprofit group’s president, told board members.

Trustee Nancy Tienvieri said she was “highly supportive” of the BDC contract, but expressed concern that other communities using the agency were potential competitors for Bedford.

Mr. Lake reassured her that Bedford was in an advantageous position because of its location on the Ohio border. A lot of companies to the south want to move to Monroe County, he said.

The board has been considering a contract with the BDC since last year. The township has its own economic-development corporation that meets monthly, but it lacks the personnel and time to deliver a professional service. The board must now decide if it wants to disband that body, which was set up as the township’s issuer of industrial development bonds.

In other business, the board approved the appointment of Dennis Jenkins to the master plan steering committee, Kyle Parsons to the board of zoning appeals, Tom Zydybek to the planning commission, Krista Jandasek to the grants and loan committee, and George Welling as an alternate to the board of zoning appeals.