Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

September 13, 2012

AEDC August report

Daily Iowegian

ALBIA — The Appanoose Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Tod Faris issued this report for August of 2012.

Business Communications (as of 8/31/12):

Hydra Pools: Will bring pool liner business to Centerville in the fall of 2012 and will be hiring at least 15 in that new department. Tod met with their CEO while he and a crew of employees from Tennessee were in Centerville preparing the building for their expansion.

“Project E”:  Tod participated in a conference call with attorneys from three states and the CEO of a manufacturing prospect for the old Walmart building.  Communications continue.

“Project C”:  Tod is working with the Iowa Economic Development Authority on a large potential manufacturing project for Appanoose County.

“Project F”:  Tod initiated a conference call with the co-founder of a company considering an expansion in Iowa. Plan to host a visit to Appanoose County in the near future with the old Walmart building in mind.

“Project K”:  Tod spoke numerous times with a manufacturing prospect in Iowa looking to purchase a specific building in Centerville to locate their business.

“Project O”:  Tod spoke with the CFO of a new manufacturing and assembly business looking to locate in a rural area to begin production of a new product.

Sustainable Economies Program:  As a follow up to the Appanoose Sustainability Summit that took place July 10 at the Majestic Theater, Mark Reinig and Abbey Gaffey of CIRAS (ISU Extension) came back to meet with individuals who will make up a steering committee to begin the next step in this process. Tod scheduled eight back-to-back meetings at AEDC with individuals to meet with Mark and Abbey in one day, then five more on a second day. We then hosted a meeting at Chariton Valley Planning and Development with about 16-20 people on Aug. 28 to participate in a “backward mapping” exercise to determine a direction we should take our county utilizing the data from CIRAS and issues that are important to the county. The group will meet again in early August to go over the results of the first meeting and organize some projects to begin working on. The CIRAS staff will be available to Centerville for at least a year.

Chariton Valley Regional Housing Trust Fund:  The CVRHTF is a four county housing trust organization that makes up Appanoose, Lucas, Monroe and Wayne counties focused on improving housing for moderate to low income homeowners.  Many projects have been completed throughout the four county region. Over the past year in Appanoose County, there have been seven projects approved and nine more pending documentation completion. These projects include new roofs, windows, furnaces and handicap-accessibility. In addition, the paint program has paid for seven homes to be painted in Centerville with more to come.  The board is in the process of completing the demolition of a number of blighted properties with the ultimate goal in some cases of building new homes in their place.  CVRHTF has signed a commitment with IHCC Building Trades to build a new home as early as later in 2012.  The board is beginning a fundraising drive for the required 25 percent match needed to secure another roughly $200,000 from IFA.

USDA Rural Development Meeting: AEDC hosted State of Iowa USDA Rural Development Director Bill Menner for a round table discussion of rural issues at the Manhattan Restaurant Aug. 22. Nearly 30 people attended to listen and ask questions of Menner. Before the round table meeting, Menner also spoke at the Centerville Rotary Club meeting also at the Manhattan.

Green Training:  A Green Training 101 class and a Solid Waste Management class (featuring a “dumpster dive”) took place at Honey Creek Resort for employers free of charge Aug. 6-7.  Twelve people registered: three from Wells Mfg., three from Honey Creek Resort, one from IHCC Ottumwa, one county supervisor, two from RASWA, one from Hydra Pools and Tod. Three engineers from ISU led the two day event from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. both days. This was an excellent training geared toward manufacturing, although it was very helpful and informative for all those who attended.

Public Appearances and Meetings:  Tod attended Rotary regularly, Opportunity Squared Regional Development meeting and Iowa Works open house in Ottumwa, four Chariton Valley Regional Housing Trust Fund meetings, two Green Training Workshops at HCR, volunteered to work four hours on a Sunday in the Rathbun Lake booth at the Iowa State Fair, attended new Walmart grand opening, Community Venture Network meeting in Minneapolis,  hosted meeting with USDA Rural Development State Director Bill Menner, and Appanoose County Steering Committee meeting with CIRAS. Tod also met with seven entrepreneurs and spoke with six more on the phone about business start-ups, expansions and relocation to this area.