By TIM HORAN
Last Thursday a meeting was held at the courthouse to discuss an Economic Development Corporation.
City representatives from Abilene, Woodbine, Herington and Enterprise, businesses leaders Tim Holm and Diane Landers and Kristine Meyer of the Dickinson County Community Foundation discussed a county economic corporation.
Representatives from Pottawattamie County Economic Corporation also outlined how that county organized the commission which had two employees.
“I thought it a was very good discussion,” said commission Chairman LaVerne Myers. “The purpose is to try to bring in new businesses and keep the businesses that we have. There was an interest there.”
Commissioner Craig Chamberlin asked Myers what he thought the county’s involvement should be.
“I don’t want to put a damper on this, but I didn’t commit to any funding,” Myers said. “I think the initial decision has to be made by the business people, if it is something they want to promote.
“It does help everyone if new businesses come in and build facilities,” he said. “The evaluation of the county for tax purposes benefits not only the county but businesses. It’s a good thing to increase your tax base.”
He said Pottawattamie County does put in money to help staff its Economic Corporation.
“In order to attract new businesses, it does take some work,” Myers said. “The ground work has to done ahead of time by somebody. What they were doing is gathering information: Is electricity available? Is there a building that could suit several different things they could put together to attract a business?
“A business isn’t going to just come to you,” he added. “But from a county standpoint I still believe that drive has to come from business people. That’s not to say we couldn’t put some money in down the road.”
“I agree with you,” Chamberlin said. “We might put money in, but we may be able to put in some man power.”
Some of the things the county could do, improve roads or regulations, it was brought up.
“It would be more of an unified effort than what we have now,” Myers said.
“And that is the goal: to have a one-stop place to locate that information,” said county Finance Director Janelle Dockendorf who is also the county economic development coordinator. “We have four business parks in the county. It would certainly make that job easier to move forward on.”
In other county business, Dockendorf gave City Manager Brad Homman’s report as he was in Washington D.C.
The county cleaned up a small hazardous waste spill last weekend, she said. The spill on 2400 Avenue came from a private citizen when a solidifier used for tractor tires spilled onto the roadway and into a ditch. The incident is being investigated by the Dickinson County Sheriff, Dockendorf said.
In other action the commission:
• paid $543,555.60 for the Detroit Sewer project;
• approved the hiring of a position with the road and bridge department, following a resignation;
• approved the consent agenda which included payroll of $232,154.78, added tax of $284.65, abatements of $43.03 and wire payments of $5,665.20.