Sobeck to represent PI on Target board

ROGERS CITY – Presque Isle County’s Economic Development Corporation board chairman will represent the county on Target Alpena’s board.

Presque Isle County commissioners appointed Tom Sobeck to a one-year term to the board at a recent meeting, board Chairman Carl Altman said. He’ll represent the county as part of a collaboration between Target Alpena and the county’s main economic development organization.

Sobeck was selected for the position after commissioners reached a consensus that he should serve as such, Altman said. He had asked Sobeck earlier if he’d be able to handle his duties along with his others. Sobeck is Rogers City’s mayor and works as chief financial officer for Presque Isle Electric and Gas Cooperative.

“I asked him if he thought he had too much on his plate … he said he thought he didn’t,” Altman said.

Commissioners voted in March to pay Target Alpena $20,000 a year to promote the county through a more regional approach. Along with a seat on Target Alpena’s board, the county will be promoted along with other Northeast Michigan communities to businesses looking for new locations. Commissioners agreed it was the most cost-effective way to pursue economic growth in the county.

At the time, Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Executive Director Jim Klarich said the county’s EDC and Target Alpena will meet every two months, and commissioners will get an update twice a year. The county had been without an EDC and county development commission director since the end of 2013.

Sobeck said he’ll attend Target Alpena board meetings and have a vote. He’s excited for the opportunity to promote Presque Isle County and the region.

“I’m looking forward to working with Jim and the rest of the Target Alpena board and do some positive things for Northeast Michigan,” he said.

In other business:

* commissioners authorized Altman to sign a resolution supporting Northeast Michigan Council of Governments applying for a $190,663 grant to fund Community Corrections programs in Cheboygan, Crawford, Oscoda, Otsego and Presque Isle counties. NEMCOG acts as a fiduciary for the grant, Altman said. The program allows incarcerated offenders to enter rehabilitative or educational programs instead of jail time. Commissioners heard at the meeting that the program saved Presque Isle County $26,810 in avoided jail costs in 2013.

* county Treasurer Bridget LaLonde told commissioners the county’s land sale proceeds account has $329,961.32 available to transfer into the general fund, all of which must be used to pay for delinquent tax bond debt. That includes $256,895.11 in land sale proceeds from 2010 through 2013 and $323,066.11 in carry-forward balance, minus $250,000 held in reserve for delinquent tax sale-related costs.

“As long as we have a comfortable balance over the minimum, which is $250,000, I think we’re in good shape,” she said.

* townships and cities will pay 10 cents more for voter registration cards printed by the county. Commissioners approved a request from county Treasurer Ann Marie Main to raise the price to 25 cents for cards produced by the county, as the cost of purchasing the cards has increased.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at