Minden Mayor Tommy Davis says they are narrowing down candidates for the position of the economic development director.
Approximately 10 applied for the job, he says, and they are within weeks of making a decision.
“We interviewed several people by Skype,” he said. “Two people have come here in person to interview and now we’re faced with making the decision. We have two good applicants that have interviewed and we’re ready to move forward with that.”
The changes requested by the City of Minden for the Main Street Commission are sitting on the governor’s desk waiting to be signed into law, State Rep. Gene Reynolds says.
“It’s gone through the process and we have not had a single ‘no’ vote through the whole thing,” Reynolds said.
The two positions were once one and were split into two separate job descriptions earlier this year following the firing of Pattie Odom in December. Davis is waiting for the changes in the commission requirements to go through before another commission is seated. Once that happens, a downtown development director will be sought, he says.
“The Main Street director position is a completely different job description than the economic development director,” he said. “This is part of the reorganization in that we have divided those two jobs.”
The economic development director strictly works with local industry and businesses and to attract new business and industry. The downtown development director works strictly with the Minden Main Street program.
Davis says $150,000 and $174,000 has been set aside for the economic development director, depending on qualifications. The new director will receive a car allowance of $6,000 annually, and the city will pay 75 percent of the new director’s health insurance and 19.75 percent of retirement benefits. Starting salary will be around $54,000.
The position was created at the urging of a consultant with the Louisiana Development Ready Communities, which recommended they hire an economic development director.
For the downtown development director, that salary will begin around $28,500.