Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Business

May 24, 2012

Appanoose Economic Development Corporation executive director report

CENTERVILLE — AEDC Executive Director, Tod Faris, has issued the following report of his activities for May 2012.

Business Communications (as of 5/8/12):

Hydra Pools:  Continuing to manufacture steel and polymer panels for in-ground swimming pools. Getting organized to bring in new equipment for new pool liner production to the Centerville plant.  Pool liner production should begin January 2013 and they will be hiring at least 15 for that new department.

Jef-Scot Metal Industries: Have about 19 employees (up from six when expansion began).  Working overtime and still has job openings; paying wages above county average. First quarter 2012 (Q1) is 85 percent ahead of Q1 2011.

Boat manufacturer:  Continues to communicate and strategize with the CEO, CFO and many others in regard to how the project can come together. Also are now investigating options and locations to build a facility in Centerville.

Revolving Loan Fund:  The RLF Review Committee approved a loan to an entrepreneur for $7,000 to help them expand their business.  So far in 2012, three loans have been approved for a total of $67,000 that will create four full-time jobs, three part-time jobs and retain 28 others. These three businesses have also invested an additional $67,000 into these projects. Over the past four years, the AEDC RLF program has lent $491,000 to 26 Appanoose County businesses which have cumulatively invested an additional $3.7 million in their projects. Also these projects have created 94 new jobs and retained 91 others.

Sustainable Economies Program: CIRAS, an Iowa State University Extension organization, has chosen Centerville (and Appanoose County) as one of five communities they are going to complete an analysis of our financial, social and environmental well-being.  They will then provide technical assistance to the non-profit organizations and businesses within the county to aid in our improvement. A number of our employers have chosen to participate. The participants will also be given an analysis of their businesses where CIRAS will look for ways they can improve their production, profitability, green initiatives, etc.  Then, on Tuesday, July 11, CIRAS will host a county-wide summit at the Majestic Theater where the public will be invited to come share their thoughts about the community and county. CIRAS will then look to assist non-profit groups throughout the county with technical assistance for them to reach their goals in improving the area and economy (like the Chamber of Commerce, the 10-10-10 teams, Appanoose County Historical groups, Betterment or Bust, Main Street and others. An informational luncheon was held for our major employers at the Manhattan Wednesday, April 25 and 14 attended.  More information will be coming soon in regard to the county-wide meeting July 11.

Connect Iowa Broadband meeting: AEDC will be hosting a 1 ½ hour input meeting for residents of the county to meet to discuss availability of Internet/broadband throughout Appanoose County. This is an initiative through the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Connect Iowa to gather information from every county in regard to Internet availability, speed, etc. compared to the needs of residents and employers. If you’d like to attend this meeting at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 31 at the AEDC office conference room to share your thoughts, concerns, or needs, please contact me at 856-3388. This information will be used to better understand the needs and services available in the rural areas and metro areas throughout the state, and will be uploaded to the Connect Iowa web site that has a state broadband map.

Public Appearances and Meetings:  Attended Rotary regularly, Opportunity Squared Regional Development meeting in Ottumwa, Coordinating Council meeting, Connect Iowa meeting in Des Moines, Regional Economic Advancement meeting in Ottumwa, Rotary Rigatoni Dinner Fundraiser, Chariton Valley Regional Housing Trust Board meeting in Centerville, Kaffee Klatch at Lee Container, Professional Developers of Iowa Spring Conference in Des Moines, RLF Review Committee and Appanoose County Board of Supervisors meeting.  I also met with four entrepreneurs and provided information to 10 organizations about the ACCF grants.

 

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

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