Tod Faris, Appanoose Economic Development Corporation executive director, issued the following report for the month of August 2013.
Revolving Loan Fund: The RLF Loan Review Committee approved and closed two new RLF loans with Appanoose County businesses. This brings the total to 31 loans to Appanoose County businesses totaling $537,740 in nearly six years. These loans have created 103 new jobs and retained an additional 105 jobs. These loans have also leveraged an additional $3,785,355 in capital improvements and funding from those businesses. Thirteen of the 31 loans have been paid in full and the others are being paid down monthly.
Governor’s Visit to Appanoose County: Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds toured Wells Manufacturing Aug. 22. Faris was informed the governor would come through town and wanted to tour a manufacturing facility for an hour. After some research, Wells Mfg. was chosen because this is one of the facilities that Gov. Branstad helped attract to Centerville in 1985. With the help of David Taylor (AEDC board member at that time) and the new database of digitally archived Iowegian articles, Faris downloaded copies of three articles involving Gov. Branstad and Centerville all printed in May 1985. The article announcing that Rubbermaid was locating in Centerville was May 16, 1985 including a picture and quotes from Gov. Branstad; the article about the APNC Railroad dedication including quotes from Gov. Branstad as he spoke at the event on the 18th was printed May 20, 1985; and the article about Wells Manufacturing location to Centerville was May 25, 1985. All of these articles were forwarded to the governor for him to review before the visit. During the visit, both the governor and Lt. governor talked about the articles, and how great it was to witness the success of Wells Manufacturing over the past 28 years.
Sustainable Economies Program: The film crew from Iowa State University will be back in Centerville Sept. 13 to complete the filming of the video of what is happening with the Appanoose Sustainable Economies Program. Faris is scheduling a few more people for additional shots, and then will assist in selecting more “b-roll” video and still shots throughout the county to fill in throughout the video. This video will ultimately be posted on the Iowa State Extension website, the AEDC website and other appropriate local websites. The CIRAS organization will also use this video to market their sustainability program. This approximately six minute video is being produced at no cost to Appanoose County.
Chariton Valley Regional Housing Trust Fund: Four homes have been demolished and removed this summer (two at Fourth and Madison Street, one on South 15th Street and one on West Jackson Street). These are four of the 17 homes removed in Centerville so far this summer. The new home being built by IHCC is coming along nicely and should be complete and ready for sale in December. We plan to build the next home on the corner of Fourth and Madison Street. The Board has hired a new director who resides in Lucas County and she began working with CVRHTF the first week of September. She has a lot of background working in housing and grant writing. Lastly, the CVRHTF is currently fundraising in the four counties to raise $60,000 in match monies in order to receive $240,000 from the Iowa Finance Authority, in order to continue these great projects in Appanoose County (in addition to Lucas, Monroe and Wayne counties).
ISU College of Design Project: We have decided to move forward with ISU on a design project that will ultimately create detailed maps of our community and county that will connect all our amenities and points of interest within the county. This will be the project of a design class this fall and into next spring. They will also utilize a steering committee for public input. We plan to invite those who participated in the leadership program to help with this project. The AEDC, Chamber, city and county are all partnering together in this project. Once the maps are complete, we’ll be able to utilize them on our websites, have them printed for visitors, and they will correlate with the signage project that will follow.
AEDC Website: The Golden Shovel Agency has created three separate websites for AEDC, Appanoose County, and the city of Centerville. Now, we are each going through what was created to make additions, changes, and deletions to customize the sites to each of our preferences. We hope to have this project complete in the next month or two.
Appearances and Meetings: Faris attended Rotary regularly, Opportunity Squared Regional Development meeting in Ottumwa (2), Coordinating Council, RLF Loan Review Committee meeting, Downtown/Square meeting, business open house at Walmart, KTVO interview, IRP Administrators meeting, Chariton Valley Regional Housing Trust Fund (2), PDI Public Disclosure meeting and Iowa Community Development Advisory Board meeting. Faris also met with Patrick Antonin city administrator, Mark Reinig from ISU, Scott Bailey of ESGR and Jeff Kuntz and Randy Frescoln of the USDA Rural Development. Faris also visited with four entrepreneurs looking to expand or start businesses.