by Eric Hagen
East Bethel will be expanding its contract with a branding and marketing consultant it recently chose to include a review of the city’s comprehensive plan.
The East Bethel City Council Dec. 21 unanimously approved Ady Voltedge of Madison, Wis., as the branding and marketing consultant. The contract amount was $31,005 and Ady Voltedge would be tasked with developing a “brand positioning document” and a “positioning statement” that will focus on the key elements of East Bethel’s “brand.”
The council Jan. 4 approved the official contract on a 4-1 vote with Councilmember Bill Boyer voting no, but there was a $17,240 addition to what was discussed at the last council meeting. The total contract the council approved Jan. 4 was $48,245.
The addition was an economic development plan review, which will consist of Ady Voltedge reviewing the city’s comprehensive plan with an emphasis on the transition from a rural area to an urban growth area along Highway 65, according to City Administrator Jack Davis.
Davis said there are some areas of the comprehensive plan that need to be tightened up. For example, Davis said Ady Voltedge would review land uses along the south end of the Highway 65 corridor where the sewer and water development is occurring first to ensure the city can make maximum use of the land.
Davis said the city needs to get as much sewer access charge and water access charge revenue as possible to pay for the system.
According to Davis, Ady Voltedge’s president and founder Janet Ady mentioned some additional options for the city during conference calls on Dec. 22 and 30. One option was the economic development plan review that the council approved. The other option that the council is holding off now is the target industry analysis, which would determine what type of businesses could come to East Bethel. This market study would have added $15,510.
Councilmember Heidi Moegerle sat in on the conference call with Ady and said she explained the importance very well.
“It really does make sense to have that outside view of our comp plan from a development standpoint,” Moegerle said.
The comprehensive plan is an important document because it represents the city to developers considering a move to East Bethel, she said.
Boyer said he voted against the contract because he did not think the branding and positioning statement is as important.
“Economic development is important, but branding is not,” Boyer said.
Boyer said he voted at the Dec. 20 meeting to choose Ady Voltedge as the contractor the city would work with because he has no problems with the firm itself.
Eric Hagen is at firstname.lastname@example.org