Marion City Council member Todd Heitschmidt spoke briefly about economic development Friday at Marion Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon.
Heitschmidt said he is an optimist about economic development, especially in the city’s business and industrial parks. He said the city has been approached by a couple of people interested in property without the city first suggesting it to them.
Heitschmidt reiterated what he said during his campaign for city council, that he doesn’t believe the city should be involved in economic development, but it already is and needs to make the best of its situation.
With the city planning to hire an economic development director, Heitschmidt hopes to see such a position focus on recruiting businesses for the business and industrial parks.
The city isn’t looking for 500-employee businesses, because it couldn’t handle such a large addition. But businesses with five to 20 employees can go a long way, he said.
Heitschmidt said Marion needs to work with other groups and cities in the area, such as Harvey County and Hillsboro, to attract businesses to the area.
He also said people who don’t work in economic development can play a part by encouraging friends and relatives to relocate to Marion.