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Wright ending stint as economic development officer

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After nearly eight years as the economic development officer for the west end of the district, Dan Wright’s term is coming to an end.

Wright’s contract with the Community Development Corporation for the West Rainy River District ends Oct. 3. The CDC may stay around after he leaves but Wright said that’s entirely up to its board of directors.

The termination of his position was due to a shortage of funds, and didn’t come as a big surprise.

"We were on a degenerative contract since the NDP days," Wright said. "We knew the end was coming."

But Wright also said he’s had no regrets since starting as the west-end’s economic development officer in February, 1990.

"From my perspective, we accomplished 10-20 times more than I thought we ever would," he noted. "I’m very pleased with what we accomplished."

Such accomplishments include grocery stores, subdivision projects, and the OSB mill in Barwick. But perhaps the most important one was helping communities along Highway 11 develop an official planning process.

While things have gone fairly smoothly in the past year, Wright admitted getting things going in the beginning wasn’t easy.

"There was a time here when we didn’t think we’d get passed year two," he said. "I’m proud we were able to hack through the tough times."

Meanwhile, Wright isn’t sure what he’ll be doing next. He said he has a project to keep him busy until December, after which he has "a couple of irons in the fire."

But until then, he wished the best for the west end, noting he hoped the communities there can continue to work together.

"My hope is the fathers of the area have the ability to look down the road and see what we have to do to keep things happening," he said.

"I think they will."

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