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Supervisors Review Quarterly Economic Development Report

By Staff | Aug 3, 2010

A briefing on the quarterly activities of the Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation was presented to the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors in its weekly meeting July 27. PACEDC Executive Director Maureen Elbert and President Kris Ausborn appeared before the board along with PACEDC Board Member Mike Reynolds of Ruthven. 

In reviewing the activities of the organization in the second quarter of the year, Elbert explained what the group was targeting. “This is the year we are going to get heavily into our marketing campaign. The economy is down, and we need to market ourselves as best as we can and make ourselves appealing and attractive to businesses. Marketing is truly the key to our success.”

 Part of that effort involved advertising in a national trade publication for the manufacturing industry, which Elbert distributed to the supervisors.

Elbert went on to highlight how the local organization is working on the Rural Innovative Grant program, as well as the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, and have been making business calls throughout the county to increase awareness of what the businesses have to offer and have for needs in the future.

Other ongoing efforts of PACEDC include working with the Iowa Department of Economic Development for Regional Marketing, Enterprise Zone Loan Committee meetings, the regular meetings of the City Clerks in the county and the upcoming County-wide breakfast, which is set for August 11.

“It is a challenging time, not only for us, but statewide,” Elbert pointed out. “The state itself is down 40 percent in terms of active economic development projects at this time.”

In other items of business, the board met with landowners from Drainge Districts 69 and Five to hear requests for a long-stick excavator cleanout on the outlet area of DD Five in Sections nine and 10 of Emmetsburg Township. Landowners Tom Brown and Rich Stillman visited with the board, who had discussed the matter previously with County Engineer Joel Fantz, and agreed the work would be beneficial to both districts by improving the outlet of DD69 and the flow of DD Five. The board voted unanimously to approve the request.

The supervisors also approved a contract for mental health services with Spencer Hospital for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, at a cost of $546 per day for residents hospitalized at the facility. The rate is equal to the current Medicaid rate for mental health committals. In a related item, a contract with Seasons Center for Mental Health was also approved. The contract features an increase in the fees for actual services, but a reduction in the overall catchment fees for the county. The contract is identical to terms approved by the Clay and O’Brien County Boards of Supervisors, according to Mental Health Director Maureen Sandberg.

Palo Alto County Engineer Joel Fantz advised the Supervisors that contractors are making good progress on the Ayrshire paving project, with roughly three miles of paving left to complete. “They’re actually having pretty good luck,” Fantz noted. “But, even when the paving is done, we’re still a way from having everything done. They’ll still have to go back and pave the radius’ to the Curlew pavement and other driveways, and then the subcontractor will have to do the shouldering, but everything is looking pretty good right now.”

Supervisors Review Quarterly Economic Development Report

By Staff | Aug 3, 2010

A briefing on the quarterly activities of the Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation was presented to the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors in its weekly meeting July 27. PACEDC Executive Director Maureen Elbert and President Kris Ausborn appeared before the board along with PACEDC Board Member Mike Reynolds of Ruthven. 

In reviewing the activities of the organization in the second quarter of the year, Elbert explained what the group was targeting. “This is the year we are going to get heavily into our marketing campaign. The economy is down, and we need to market ourselves as best as we can and make ourselves appealing and attractive to businesses. Marketing is truly the key to our success.”

 Part of that effort involved advertising in a national trade publication for the manufacturing industry, which Elbert distributed to the supervisors.

Elbert went on to highlight how the local organization is working on the Rural Innovative Grant program, as well as the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, and have been making business calls throughout the county to increase awareness of what the businesses have to offer and have for needs in the future.

Other ongoing efforts of PACEDC include working with the Iowa Department of Economic Development for Regional Marketing, Enterprise Zone Loan Committee meetings, the regular meetings of the City Clerks in the county and the upcoming County-wide breakfast, which is set for August 11.

“It is a challenging time, not only for us, but statewide,” Elbert pointed out. “The state itself is down 40 percent in terms of active economic development projects at this time.”

In other items of business, the board met with landowners from Drainge Districts 69 and Five to hear requests for a long-stick excavator cleanout on the outlet area of DD Five in Sections nine and 10 of Emmetsburg Township. Landowners Tom Brown and Rich Stillman visited with the board, who had discussed the matter previously with County Engineer Joel Fantz, and agreed the work would be beneficial to both districts by improving the outlet of DD69 and the flow of DD Five. The board voted unanimously to approve the request.

The supervisors also approved a contract for mental health services with Spencer Hospital for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, at a cost of $546 per day for residents hospitalized at the facility. The rate is equal to the current Medicaid rate for mental health committals. In a related item, a contract with Seasons Center for Mental Health was also approved. The contract features an increase in the fees for actual services, but a reduction in the overall catchment fees for the county. The contract is identical to terms approved by the Clay and O’Brien County Boards of Supervisors, according to Mental Health Director Maureen Sandberg.

Palo Alto County Engineer Joel Fantz advised the Supervisors that contractors are making good progress on the Ayrshire paving project, with roughly three miles of paving left to complete. “They’re actually having pretty good luck,” Fantz noted. “But, even when the paving is done, we’re still a way from having everything done. They’ll still have to go back and pave the radius’ to the Curlew pavement and other driveways, and then the subcontractor will have to do the shouldering, but everything is looking pretty good right now.”