“We don’t know.”

   That was the phrase batted back and forth between Green Lake City Council members and Mayor Jon McConnell regarding a proposed U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) technical assistance grant for economic development.

   It was amid that uncertainty — and perhaps because of it — the council was split down the middle on whether to pursue the grant and all that it may entail when it voted during its Monday night meeting.

   However, McConnell weighed in, breaking the tie in favor of applying for the grant.

   He said the grant would benefit the Green Lake Public/Private Collaboration, which is asking the city to apply for the grant on its behalf. McConnell explained that if the application is approved by the USDA, Bob Gintoft’s position for economic development coordinator will disappear and the $38,000 budgeted for his position will instead be committed to the grant and hiring a technical assistant.

   He noted the USDA will match the $38,000 and any other funds the collaboration is able to gather.

   The technical assistant will analyze the city of Green Lake’s economic development and will offer a direction for the collaboration to focus its efforts and promote economic growth in the community.

   “The city doesn’t know where to focus its efforts until we know really what information is out there,” McConnell said.

   Read the full story, including council members' opinions against the grant, in the May 16, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.