Economic development plan recommends Colfax buy land

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — Although there are acres and acres of open land within the village limits, the Colfax Village Board does not control any of it.

One of the recommendations in the economic development chapter of the Smart Growth Comprehensive Land Use Plan is that the village consider purchasing and developing land for residential, business and industrial purposes.

The Colfax Plan Commission worked on revising the economic development chapter of the village’s comprehensive plan March 4.

Other recommendations include working with the Colfax Commercial Club to promote downtown businesses and to try to attract new businesses as well as to implement recommendations for downtown improvements from the Placemaking Downtown Colfax plan.

The village board also should create historic building design standards for downtown buildings, encourage the use of the Downtown Facade Loan Fund, and create an identity for downtown Colfax based on cultural heritage, the outdoors, or historic building materials.

The economic development chapter encourages Colfax to work with existing businesses and industries to understand their long-term needs.

One way to do that would be to have quarterly meetings to discuss infrastructure, land and expansion needs.

The village also is urged to work with local business and industry to identify incentives, programs or financing options to help them grow.

To support the goal of commercial and industrial development, Colfax should be proactive and use TIF districts, analyze the feasibility of purchasing land, create promotional materials for prospective new businesses and industries, and work with the Dunn County Economic Development Corporation for promoting Colfax.

Constructing a rail spur on the west side of the village is another recommendation to encourage economic development.

Colfax also should consider creating another incubator building to help new business and industry to get started.

Collaboration for internships among the universities, technical colleges, schools and existing businesses and industries in Colfax would be helpful for the businesses as well, according to the proposed economic development chapter of the village’s comprehensive plan.