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Perham city wins $30,000 'cash prize' from Economic Development Admin.

Some last minute scrambling to meet deadline produced $30,000 in revenue for the city of Perham.

Under a relatively new federal Economic Development Administration program, Perham was one of only a handful of Minnesota cities to earn a performance award.

Notified of the program only a few days prior to the application deadline, Perham Economic Development Authority Director Chuck Johnson and City Manager Kelcey Klemm hastily pulled together the information and data for a complicated application process.

Deadline pressure is nothing new for Johnson, a longtime newspaperman who was editor of the Perham Enterprise Bulletin for more than 20 years.

"I really have to commend Chuck for pulling the information together and completing the application in just a few days," commented Klemm at the Sept. 24 Perham City Council committee meeting. "There were a lot of hoops to jump through, but it was well worth it."

The $30,000 "Planning Performance Award" can be applied to future EDA projects, said Johnson.

At the discretion of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, a recipient of investment assistance may receive a Planning Performance Award in an amount not to exceed 5 percent of the investment.

Fiscal Year 2007 was the first year that EDA issued Planning Performance Awards to those EDA investment recipients whose projects demonstrated outstanding collaboration and effectiveness in the planning phase of a project. Recipients of Planning Performance Awards must use their award to increase EDA's share of the cost of an EDA-funded project, thereby decreasing the dollar amount of the local match.

EDA Performance Awards may be used to fund EDA-approved economic development activities.

Outstanding performance is judged by the following criteria: amount of private investment attracted by the project, the number of jobs created by the project, timely project completion, organizational leadership, innovation, regional collaboration and economic strategy to compete in the global marketplace. EDA Performance Awards are announced quarterly; the awards were first announced in Fiscal Year 2007.