The annual meeting of Solomon Valley Economic Development was held prior to the regular monthly meeting on November 16 at the North Central Regional Planning Commission offices in Beloit. The membership considered nominations and elected officers to open positions.
Larry White reported on behalf of the nominating committee. The committee nominated White, Brent Cunningham and Gaylene Sorell to serve as directors for three-year terms expiring in November 2020. Ryan Duskie was nominated to serve for a one-year term to represent the municipal entities as provided in the bylaws. Tom Claussen was nominated to represent the Mitchell County Commissioners, and Gina Brockelman was nominated to represent the Beloit Area Chamber of Commerce.
Following requests for further nominations, a unanimous ballot for all named individuals to serve as directors was cast and adopted. The full board of directors is as follows; Gaylene Sorell, Larry White, Brent Cunningham, Bob Lampert, Lydia Becker, Jim Gates, Harry McGrath, Gene Pestinger, Kent Miller, Gina Broeckelman, Tom Claussen and Ryan Duskie.
In the absence of Treasurer Robert Davis there was no annual Treasurer’s Report given. Curt Frasier reported on the taxes due on various properties owned by SVED.
The membership then elected officers, nominated by the nominating committee, for the coming year as follows: Curtis Frasier, President, Mike Thompson, Vice President and Robert Davis, Treasurer.
Heather Hartman, Solomon Valley Community Development Director, reported on her activity for the past month. Heather announced to the group she has been in her position for five years now.
She recently attended the Kansas Association of Counties convention in Overland Park. They had breakout groups for sessions according to population of the area where the participants live. Consolidation of services was discussed, reversing population trends and others. Economic development directors are in most counties now. There was a presentation on NAC road ownership, federal funding for prisons, healthcare and roads.
Hartman has been working on consistent signage for buildings for sale or rent in the area to promote their usage. The appraiser’s office has provided a list of commercial buildings and lots in the area. Hartman is working on a letter to contact owners about their interest in having a sign placed on their property.
She also attended the recent NCK Rural Development Council meeting which shared several area concerns. One of the topics was Tyson possibly building in Cloud County. Hartman obtained Mitchell County housing and demographic information which will be official in 2018. There is a development of the Highway 81 corridor to Saline County to coordinate efforts. A Cloud County program which utilizes wind farm money has helped 23 small businesses including Easy G’s, Moody Hues and a beauty salon.
NexTech has developed the Next Generation intern program which utilizes Dane G. Hansen Funds. Brent Cunningham shared Cunningham Telephone and Cable has participated in this program. Interns can be high school age or college students. Businesses can pick an intern and pay them $10.00 per hour. Next Generation pays up to $3600.00 for a 9-week period intern period. The deadline to apply to participate in the program for next year is December 31.
Mitchell County Historical Society is anticipating their upcoming celebration of Mitchell Counties 150 years of existence in 2019-2020. Celebration events being planned are for that time-period include history related events, blacksmith, beadwork, and others.
The North Central Regional Planning Commission, which includes a 12-county region, had a recent meeting discussing healthcare, banking, economic development, cross promoting the counties from one to another, youth involvement and non-profit boards.
Curt Frasier reported on the Leadership Mitchell County. He said the class is going well, and they are in the process of identifying a class project.
Frasier also reported on the Solomon Valley Community Foundation. The group has been working on the November funding match program through Dane G. Hansen. This program consists of donations by contributors which are matched by Dane G. Hansen which is added to the community impact fund with the founding donors providing matching funds as well. If a contributor gave one dollar it was matched by the various entities to inject five dollars into the fund. It was discussed that area foundation groups are planning on meeting to assist each other.
David Neubert informed the group of a benefit which was held for the Beloit Arts Center. The event was held on November 22 at Down Under. The event featured food, entertainment, and an auction.
Gina Brockelman reported there will be an open house for Given Grace on December 8 including a Christmas open house. She also shared that the Sizzlin’ with Santa Soup Cook-off on will take place in downtown Beloit on December 9 with the proceeds to go to the Angel Tree Project. February 3 will be the Annual Chamber of Commerce Banque. “Are You Ready For Some Football” is the theme.
The next meeting of SVED will be held on December 21 at the North Central Regional Planning Commission office in Beloit.