LISBON - The town of Lisbon has partnered with the Waukesha County Center for Growth to act as an economic development advocate for the town.

The town board approved the cost for the agreement on Monday, Jan. 23, for $4,272.80 annually, which was an incorrect figure. Town Administrator Matt Janecke presented the accurate, higher figure of $5,341 to the board during its Feb. 13 meeting, which was approved.

The town did not allocate any funds toward this initiative in the 2017 budget; however, Janecke recommended the board use funds from the Contracted Planner line item of the budget, and subsequently, factor the cost into the 2018 budget as its own line item.

"After attending a meeting of area administrators and managers, it was a consensus of ours that a major concern of retaining and attracting businesses is the ability to, first and foremost, attract and retain quality employees," Janecke wrote in a report to the board on Jan. 20.

Sussex, the cities of Brookfield and Waukesha, and other municipalities throughout Waukesha County have already entered into this partnership with the Waukesha County Center for Growth.

Some of the services the center provides include promoting the town's available and proposed business and industrial parks, and redevelopment areas, and reaching out to local chambers of commerce to coordinate business expansion, retention and recruitment efforts.

According to Janecke, one of the town's main objectives with this agreement is to promote its viable development areas, like the vacant Lied's Nursery property that was purchased by the town for $1.7 million in August.

The center's first step is to create a community profile of the town that is specific to business and developer audiences; that information will be placed in a database online.

“There’s quite a few vacant lots that are in the town," Janecke said. "It takes our vacant lands that are ready for development and puts it out there; it’s really getting it out to the state of Wisconsin, the region and the national region, looking at the different players that would come in for different properties, and likewise, to retain some of the businesses we have. It’s basically a one-stop shop for development that would be occurring.”

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