RDA Annual Report 2010
Posted on January 31, 2011 – By Emporia RDA
Attached to this Executive Summary is a three-page document, which summarizes a strategic planning meeting, held by the RDA Board of Directors in the fall of 2008.
Three general topics were identified – industrial, retail and biosciences. The 2010 priorities were identified as the following:
Data collection for retail and community conversations
Funding of industrial/economic development in 1st quarter 2010 later in the year election committee for ½-cent city sales tax
We worked on three of the four topics and were successful in our efforts for continued funding of the industrial/economic development efforts with the passage of the ½-cent city sales tax until December 31, 2024. The RDA staff assisted in the Emporian’s for Growth Sales Tax Committee in the development of the marketing literature for the campaigning for the renewal of the ½-cent city sales tax.
In the general area of the biosciences, we continue to refine our efforts with the Emporia Bioscience Consortium in determining Emporia’s niche.
Consideration was given to an analytical laboratory and pre-certification of vendors to support the food processing and companion animal nutrition plants in our region.
Customized training and food processing certifications are being considered by our local postsecondary institutions – Emporia State University and the Flint Hills Technical College.
The bioscience marketing strategy includes the RDA membership in the animal health corridor marketing effort by the Kansas City Area Development Council. The RDA staff and volunteers had actively participated in the animal health corridor activities.
We continue our membership with KansasBio and participation in the BIO2010 expo in Chicago this past year. Emporia hosted a strategic planning session – KansasBio “Hot Meeting” to overhaul the training and educational requirements and labor needs of the local, state and regional bioscience workforce needs.
The Hill’s Pet Nutrition Emporia plant begun commercial production of their pet nutrition products in the fall of 2010. As per the incentive compliance agreement the capital investment, job creation and average annual salary was exceeded. In fact, the total capital investment was $204 million in building and equipment, over 106 jobs have been created with an average annual salary of $45,800.
In 2010 Menu Foods Midwest Corporation announced their intentions to restructure the equity funding of the company. In August it was announced that Simons Pet Food was purchasing Menu, subject to stockholders approval, the federal trade commission approval and bank approval.
On November 3, 2010 the acquisition of Menu Foods by Simmons Pet Food was completed. It is our understanding that the Menu Foods name will not be retained, so we welcome the new era of Simmons Pet Food in Emporia.
One of the goals established last year with Park IV was the extension of sanitary sewer to the southeast corner of the tract. The Emporia City Commission authorized BG Consultants to proceed in the engineering, development of construction and bid documents to proceed with construction of the sanitary sewer main in 2012. The RDA had representatives and input into the routing of the sanitary sewer main to Park IV.
Emporia Enterprises continues to search for future industrial and business park sites. Enterprises participated in a land transaction with S&W Concrete (Scott Woodworth) at 1840 East South Avenue. Emporia Enterprises now owns a one-acre lot located northwest of the intersection of East South Avenue and Grand Boulevard.
The majority of the retail marketing efforts were concentrated on at the annual ICSC Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada with over 12 scheduled appointments. In the past three years, this was the most upbeat and encouraging of our marketing efforts. After following up with those contacted at the ICSC Expo, most of the optimism of project development has been replaced with cautious wait-and-see attitudes about the commercial and retail expansions. We continue to cultivate the relationships with regional retail operations and developers.