The Norton City/County Economic Development met at 5:45 p.m. on October 8, 2018, at the Economic Development office. The meeting was called to order by Jerry Jones, President. Members present included: Tom Brannon, Wally Burton, Curtis Eveleigh, John Griffiths, Aaron Hale, Brad Hopkins, Gayle James, Jerry Jones and Dick Thompson. Jim Miller and Amber Nuttycomb were absent.
Also present were Mike Posson, Economic Development Director, and Verla Grysch, Administrative Coordinator.
The September minutes were approved with a motion from Wally Burton and a second from Aaron Hale.
There was a brief discussion regarding the 2 entities that had given housing study presentations at the last meeting. After the discussion Aaron Hale moved and Tom Brannan seconded a motion to engage Five Rule Rural Planning to conduct a housing study for Norton County at a cost not to exceed $21,000. Motion carried 9-0.
The question of an easement for a gas line on the East Side Development-Blickenstaff Addition will go no further unless pursued by the requesting landowner.
After discussion about Mr. Posson attending the Heartland Economic Development course, Wally Burton moved and Curtis Eveleigh seconded a motion to allow Mr. Posson to attend this program next April. Motion carried 9-0.
In his report, Director Posson highlighted the results from recent Secure Sebelius Lake Economic Impact Study presentation. It was notable to learn from the study that the extra water level held in the lake at a cost of $100,000 each year payable to the Almena Irrigation District landowners provides Norton County and Northwest Kansas 4 to 5 million dollars per year additional economic impact.
Posson provided updates regarding the recruiting incentives recently offered by NCCED to assist Norton County Hospital and Norton Correctional Facility.
The 3rd Annual Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge is moving forward.
Mr. Posson is working with the Economic Development Director in Phillips County on a joint Highway K-383 presentation to be given at a scheduled KDOT meeting in Hays at the end of the month. Letters of support for the project and other key details about conditions on K-383 in Norton and Phillips Counties will be presented to the Kansas Transportation Task Force. This 26-mile section of K-383 has seen increased traffic counts in the last several years and is in dire need of upgrades to make it a safe road for all to travel.
A motion to adjourn came from Aaron Hale with a second from Dick Thompson.