Wednesday, May 06, 2009

More econ development efforts from other places...

Haven't done this in awhile and being that I had 5 minutes to search the Interwebz, I found some happenings on the economic development front.

City council okays money for economic development

Wednesday May 06 2009, 12:38pm

Norwalk City Council took the first step toward more funding for economic development Tuesday by passing an emergency ordinance to free up $5,000 for the Norwalk Economic Development Corp.

In last week's work session, Mayor Sue Lesch and Ellen Heinz, NEDC director, said the money would be used to support existing manufacturing companies by helping them diversify their businesses, compete for new businesses and build on international connections Norwalk already has.

Hey now.

Genesee County partners with neighboring counties to spur economic development
by Melissa Burden | The Flint Journal
Tuesday May 05, 2009, 4:50 PM

PONTIAC, Michigan -- There's a change of attitude these days when it comes to economic development.

Genesee County will fight to bring jobs and economic development here, but it's taking a more regional approach to do it.

Genesee County on Tuesday inked a partnership in the nonpartisan Economic Growth Alliance during a news conference at a hotel here, joining Oakland, Livingston and St. Clair counties in a collaborative effort to spur economic development, growth and diversification in the area.

"You think and act regionally to benefit locally," said Michael Brown, interim mayor of the City of Flint.

I like the aggressive wording at the beginning of this article. 'Change of attitude' towards economic development and 'will fight' to bring jobs to the area. Would love to see the local daily rag print words like this someday about economic development efforts in Kingman... soon.

Food-processing plant to create 54 jobs near Whiteville

Published: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 11:51 a.m.

Nice Blends Corp. will open a food-processing plant near Whiteville, investing $1.5 million and creating 54 jobs over three years, according to the Columbus County Economic Development Commission.

The company is moving from the Bronx in New York City and has bought a 57,000-square-foot building in the Southeast Regional Park on N.C. 130.


North Carolina’s Southeast Partnership, which markets 11 counties to businesses, last fall brought the lead on Nice Blends to the commission, director Justin Smith said Tuesday.

The Columbus County Board of Commissioners awarded a performance-based incentive grant of $46,455 over five years based on Nice Blends investing $1.5 million and creating 54 jobs within three years, Smith said.

Additionally, the company paid about $1 million for its building, but that was not part of the incentive agreement and is not included in the $1.5 million, Smith explained.

Performance-based incentives?? You don't say.

Investments brings jobs?? Who'd a thunk it??

And now this last one is my favorite of the day. Read this to see if you get the same sorts of feelings as I did when I read it for the first time.

Agawam shows plenty of potential
Wednesday, May 06, 2009

AGAWAM - Information from a recent workshop examining future goals for the city will help shape an economic development plan now in the works.

The plan will direct future economic growth in the community by identifying parcels of land appropriate for development .

I can think of a parcel of land appropriate for development here in Kingman. Sits just off the Interstate and is currently used as a non-official dumping ground. In fact the city owns this land.

It also will examine what kind of infrastructure the community needs, including sewer, water, schools and community centers, said Planning and Community Development Director Deborah S. Dachos.

The Planning Department is using a $69,150 state grant to fund an economic development plan for Agawam. The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission is conducting the study.

The plan, which should be completed by December, would then determine what zoning amendments and infrastructure investments would be needed to create feasible future development sites, Dachos said.

The state government bailed on helping our community with an obvious infrastructure need, for shame. Yet Kingman still has needs. Time to get creative.

The plan also would identify any other municipal barriers to commercial development (such as the local permitting process, labor suitability, and quality of life factors) and identify strategies to address these barriers.

I'm not sure if any of our local municipal barriers have been addressed or not, but I've heard rumblings that the new prominent project has faced several challenges. Sorta the same that has been heard on other commercial projects in the past. Couple that with the micro-nit-picking that goes on when any investor/developer tries to come into the area (the biggest barrier IMO) and it appears much work still needs to be done. Oh and might as well throw in impact fees into the discussion as well as they are not helping economic development.

The plan calls for public outreach to assure that the new development is consistent with community goals and to gain support for any zoning changes or infrastructure investments that will ultimately need to be made.

A "visioning" workshop held on April 29 drew a mixture of comments about the city's development.

Residents Peter H. and Jill M. Hallock said they would like to do their shopping in Agawam.

"We go to Wal-Mart in Westfield, and we have to park way out in the boondocks because so many people shop there," said Peter Hallock, of 71 Perry Lane. "We're sick of having to leave town to buy a shirt. We don't have a decent restaurant to go to as far as I'm concerned."

Obviously not the same challenges here (we have a Wal-Mart) but the sentiment is nearly the same. Just replace Agawam with Kingman and the statement would probably look like this... "Residents 'X' and 'Y' said they would like to do more of their shopping in Kingman"... which no doubt would help the 'Shop Here' economic development plan currently in place.

As part of the two-hour workshop, planning officials discussed results of a retail survey of residents.

The survey revealed that many people travel outside of Agawam to shop to find a greater section of retail goods and services.

"We heard a lot of comments about a need for Target, Wal-Mart or Kohl's," said Jessica Allan, senior planner with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission,.

The survey results, with comments from residents, are posted on the city of Agawam's Web site.

Sounds so familiar. Community residents wanting -- no not more public services but instead -- more commercial services. And at least in Kingman, more commercial services lead to more sales tax dollars collected. No-duh solutions are slapping me in the face right about now (actually for a few years now).

Marc Horne, of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, presented the results of an "economic development self-assessment tool" undertaken as part of the economic development plan.

The self assessment tool examines Agawam's ability to promote commercial and industrial development, Dachos said.

Horne's presentation, which was based on information the town of Agawam submitted, looked at what Agawam has to offer to spur business growth. It included traffic flow, proximity to universities, quality of available space, rents, and timeliness of approvals from various boards, among other categories.

Agawam has a lot of positive attributes, including a low crime rate, affordable housing and good schools.

However, its commercial and industrial tax rate, at $25.64 per $1,000 of assessed value, is higher than some other communities, Horne said.

I wonder what an economic development self-assessment tool might produce here in Kingman at the moment. Probably something a bit similar as what was copied above to some degree, but that just means that more work needs to be done (and covered by the local media).

But at this point, we know more about what is happening in Agawam in regards to economic development than we do here in Kingman. That has to change.

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