Solomon Valley Economic Development – June 2017


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SVED reviews current and future programs
Solomon Valley Economic Development held their monthly meeting on June 22 at the North Central Regional Planning Offices in Beloit. A number of programs were discussed before the board members, area representatives and guests.

The First Impressions Program with partner city Clay Center was discussed where “shoppers”, unbeknownst to the partnering community, visit their partner city and report back on commerce, infrastructure and amenities and their impression of them. Those visits have already been completed. Representatives from Beloit include City Councilman and AGCO employee Andrew Grabon, Kettle owner Mandy Fincham, NCK Tech Dean of Administrative Services Brandi Zimmer as well as Julia Rabe of the Beloit Area Chamber of Commerce and NCRPC’s Carol Torkelson. There will be a community meeting on August 10 at 7 p.m. to review the findings from Clay Center visitors to Beloit.

Solomon Valley Community Development Director Heather Hartman said more applications were needed for the Community Development Block Grant Housing Rehabilitation and Demolition Program. Applications and information are available at the Beloit City Office or the Chamber Office located on the ground floor of the Porter House.

Hartman also discussed the 2017 Career Exploration and Leadership Camp which is wrapping up this week. Middle school aged students have had opportunities to discover career options that exist in our local communities. Many of which students have remarked they were unaware of. They spent time with robotic welders at AGCO-Sunflower, they helped shock fish for conservation purposes with Kansas Fish and Game Wardens, learned about careers in medicine and emergency services including EMS and law enforcement, and also experienced ag and entrepreneurship careers at Brush Art in Downs, Cunningham Telephone and Cable, HeBrews Café in Glen Elder and Kettle in Beloit.

The Mitchell County Clean-Up grant project financed by the Dane G. Hansen Foundation was completed two weeks ago. The event ran about 10 days longer than expected to exhaust the $20,000 in funding, but it was a success.

NexTech has announced a grant program for rural communities available through the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS), in cooperation with NTCA which is the Rural Broadband Association. The FRS Grant Program is designed to support local efforts to build and sustain a high quality of life in rural America in four major areas including business and economic development, community development, education, and telecommunications.

Applicants may request grants in the range of $250 to $5,000, but projects may be funded at a lesser amount than requested. Each grant is awarded one time only. Past recipients have included a youth entrepreneurship project in Phillipsburg (2011), the Lenora Public Library for children’s educational equipment (2014), and both the Graham County Hospital and Trego-Lemke Memorial Hospital for telemedicine equipment (2015).

NexTech staff members are available to review each application and provide professional recommendations, if requested. Grant proposals must be received at NexTech by August 18, 2017. Email submissions are preferred. The NexTech committee will meet weekly to review the proposals, and to provide requested recommendations and a letter of support for those who qualify. The applicant will then be responsible for submitting the application, which must be postmarked to FRS by September 15.

To take advantage of this assistance or to inquire about the FRS Grant Program, please contact NexTech by phone before August 18 at 877-625-7872. Or via email directed to manschutz@nex-tech.com or cwegener@nex-tech.com.

Hartman also discussed the Prayer and Action program. A week long-long summer mission trip for high school youth to serve those close to home and grow in their faith. Approximately 60 students will descend upon Beloit for three separate weeks between July 9 and July 28 with a focus on assisting the poor and elderly. Services are provided free of charge.

They are looking for loaner tools for use during the period including trimmers, loppers, ladders, chainsaws, shovels, rakes, wheel barrows, pickups with trailers and paint scrapers. If you know anyone who could benefit from this program or have tools to lend, contact Justin and Shelby Gengler at 534-0113 or Jeff and Jeri Bates at 738-3259.

The Banner restaurant re-opened last week under now owner/operator Mr. Jan Schmitz.
Applications for the next round of Solomon Valley Community Foundation Grants are due August 1, and the application period is now open.

Beloit Area Chamber Director Gina Broeckelman spoke about her efforts to update the Community Profile magazine for which she is currently selling advertising. If you are interested in the magazine please contact Gina at the Chamber Office located on the ground floor of the Porter House.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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