The Twin Ports is a great place to live, work, and raise a family.  But one of the concerns that many businesses have is the amount of red-tape involved with expanding or embarking upon business development.  It appears that this concern is about to get a little easier.

A reorganization has combined two departments that are central to economic growth in the region; effective immediately, the Business and Economic Development and the Planning and Construction Services departments will merge into one new department known as the Planning and Economic Development.  According to a news release from the city, Keith Hamre will oversee the newly-formed department, with an official confirmation pending by the Duluth City Council at their upcoming meeting on December 10.

Hamre was most-recently the Director of Planning and Construction Services and is a 21-year veteran of the City of Duluth.  He will oversee the newly-combined department until his retirement in August 2019.  Meanwhile, a broad candidate search for his replacement starts in the spring.

The newly formed Planning and Economic Development department will include 33 team members in the divisions of Economic Development, Construction Services and Inspections and Community Planning. This change brings the City of Duluth into alignment with major Minnesota cities in closely tying economic development and community planning staff to better serve the community. The department is located in room 110 of Duluth City Hall with Economic Development staff temporarily housed in Room 402.