Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

July 12, 2012

Local business news from AEDC

Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — Appanoose Economic Development Corporation  Executive Director Tod Faris issued the following report for June of 2012.

Business Communications (as of 6/14/12):

Hydra Pools: Will bring pool liner business to Centerville in the fall of 2012 and will be hiring 15 in that new department. AEDC is assisting with this expansion.

Jef-Scot Metals: Employment now up to 24 and working periodic overtime. Plan to begin renovation of entry area to include new offices, reception area, conference room and new restrooms this fall.  Plan to add on to the south end of the building in 2013 as the final phase of the expansion.

Boat manufacturer: Continue to communicate and strategize with the CEO, CFO and many others in regard to how the project can come together. Numerous calls and emails continue.

Walmart building: The realtor emailed AEDC in June to state the deal on the building with an out-of-state developer fell through and the building is available again. Still working with a manufacture that would like to purchase the building and locate their facility there.

Connected Iowa Internet meeting: AEDC hosted a meeting to discuss Internet options, availability, needs and issues in Appanoose County. Fifteen people attended including representatives from Centerville School District, IHCC, Rathbun Regional Water Association, Drake Library, Farmers Mutual Telephone Company in Moulton, Chariton Valley Planning and Development, a local manufacturing plant manager and others. The meeting was facilitated by a gentleman from Area 15 Regional Planning in Ottumwa. He will follow up with AEDC for more details as he completes his report. The results will be uploaded to the Connect Iowa web site. The group who attended had a pleasant surprise as Amy Kuelers, Connect Iowa director, came from Des Moines to attend the Appanoose County meeting.

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 organizations and businesses within the county to aid in our improvement. A number of our employers have chosen to participate. Mark Reinig and Abby Gaffey of CIRAS were in town June 4 to give presentations to the Board of Supervisors and City Council. Scheduled meetings with leaders of some of our local volunteer groups working to improve Appanoose County. A community Summit took place Tuesday, July 10 at the Majestic (lunch provided) for the community to see and hear the results of CIRAS’s research and take part in a discussion of what ISU can help with. Also, a Green Training 101 class (featuring a “dumpster dive”) will take place at the RASW facility for employers and members of the community free of charge in July or August. The CIRAS staff will be available to Centerville for about a year.

Revolving Loan Fund: Another RLF loan was approved for an Appanoose County entrepreneur.  This brings the total for 2012 to $67,000.  The totals over the past four years are: $491,000 lent to 26 businesses accompanying an additional $3,705,000 in capital investments from those businesses; eight loans paid in full and other 18 loans are all current; at least 94 new jobs have been created and 91 more retained.

Appanoose County Laborshed study: A Laborshed study is normally conducted every two years by Iowa Workforce Development and Appanoose County’s last one was in 2009. The Opportunity Squared Regional Economic Development group has been working on a project to get all the counties in the region to complete their Laborshed surveys at the same time. When this is done a fringe benefit analysis and a skills analysis of the regional workforce will also be conducted by IWD.  All these studies for the eight counties would cost about $50,000. We have worked hard to accumulate funding from EDA, utilities and community colleges. The delay caused by the fundraising effort will reduce the individual county cost to as low as $0, which will save AEDC over $4,000. We will likely have the surveys completed at the end of 2012 so the final documents have a date on the cover of January 2013.

Public appearances and meetings: Attended Rotary regularly, Opportunity Squared Regional Development meeting in Ottumwa, Coordinating Council meeting, Chariton Valley Regional Housing Trust Fund meetings, Connected Community meeting, ACCF Board meeting, Betterment of Bust meeting, Kaffee Klatch at Faith UMC, Betterment or Bust Rathbun Lake Cruise, Greenest Resort in Iowa award ceremony at Honey Creek Resort, RLF Review Committee, Rathbun Lake Association meeting at marina, City Council meeting and Appanoose County Board of Supervisors meeting.  Also met with seven entrepreneurs.