The Norton City/County Economic Development board meeting JUly 14, 2020

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The Norton City/County Economic Development board met at 5:45 p.m. on July 14 at the Economic Development office. The meeting was called to order by Curtis Eveleigh, Chairman. Members present included: Tom Brannan, Wally Burton, Curtis Eveleigh, John Griffiths, Aaron Hale, Brad Hopkins, Jerry Jones and Amber Nuttycomb. Attending via ZOOM were Deborah Anderson, Donna Foley and Dick Thompson.

Also present were Mike Posson, Executive Director and Verla Grysch, Administrative Coordinator.

Donna Liddle, President & CEO of the Norton Area Chamber of Commerce was present as a guest.

There were no comments from the public.

The May meeting minutes were approved by the board.

OLD BUSINESS: The Director provided an update on recent recruitment incentives paid to Norton Correctional Facility correction officers. There are 5 remaining second payments to be made over the next 8 months which will leave a relocation and recruitment fund balance of $6600. He also shared that after participating in the Mock RFI and Site Selector program, a community narrative has been compiled for Norton and preparations are underway to list several Economic Development properties. Regarding the proposed housing rehabilitation program, Posson stated there is some outstanding county tax related research to complete on one of the rehab incentives, and a new developer incentive that will likely be added to the program. Once these 2 items completed the grant application process will begin with the identified funding partners. Also, related to the new housing on Reagan Ave, the contractor anticipates beginning construction on basements for the final 2 homes yet this fall.

NEW BUSINESS: The board approved the proposed 2021 budget as submitted to both the City and County Clerk’s offices. The director also reviewed the status of the CDBG-COVID funds for business grants within Norton County and he anticipates additional funding to the County which can be utilized to support businesses outside City Limits who have been impacted by the COVID pandemic. He also spoke about new SPARK funding that will be available for Norton County, and a committee that has been formed to prioritize allocation of those funds for Phase-1. The board approved renewal of the 2-year contract with consultants Pinegar, Smith & Associates, contingent with Norton County contributing their portion. The director told the board that he has accepted an invitation to fill a vacancy on the board of directors for the Western Kansas Rural Economic Development Alliance.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:35.