Commissioners discuss possible economic development program
Thayer County Board of Commissioners met with many organizations during their meeting on Aug. 7.
The meeting began with the monthly updates from Richard Heinrichs, Thayer County road superintendent. Heinrichs spoke with commissioners about new permits to occupy a road. He also discussed the need for a new side mower. The mower is currently being used to fix tree problems in ditches. Commissioners addressed the issue of finding a permanent fix to this problem as well.
One of the bigger items on the agenda was the possible creation of an economic development foundation. Although the name of the new program is still under discussion, it would basically be a program where established or new businesses could apply for loan funds to create a new business or improve their current one.
The commissioners met with Deb Craig and Thayer County Economic Director Jeremy Voss to get their thoughts and concerns on the possibility of this program. The county currently has over $2 million in an inheritance fund. Part of this money would be used for the loans.
“We want to put it in use to help the county,” commissioner Dave Bruning said.
The idea is still in the first stages and much discussion is needed to decide details such as the amount of money that would be offered as a loan to a business that applied. The next step to move forward with the program is to look into how other counties have worked to create a similar program.
Commissioners also met with Sandy Morrissey, director of Regional Prevention Coordination. She discussed funding and the development of a prevention system within Region V. Every year funds are reallocated to prevention federal block grants.
For 2013-2014, Thayer County Prevention Coalition will receive $9,726 as of this time, but the amount may increase if Lancaster County receives a different grant. If this happens, the funds set aside for that county will be dispersed to the other counties.
If additional funds are needed, the coalition can apply for “mini grants.”
In other business, the commissioners appointed a replacement for a position on the board of the Blue Rivers Area Agency on Aging. Ronn Pearson from Davenport was chosen for the position. Commissioner Dean Krueger will continue as commissioner representative on the board with Pearson.
In other business, the group discussed the disposal of an old generator. Brian Blobaum from Thayer County Budget Authority talked with commissioners about the budget update for 2013-2014. A few changes may still be made including the split in the jail and law enforcement budget. A budget hearing will be set for a meeting in September.
Commissioners will conduct interviews for Thayer County Treasurer on Aug. 14. The next regular meeting will be Aug. 21.