Electric utility board members may up their investment in the Southwest Johnson County Economic Development Corporation (SWJCEDC) next year.
Tom Reiderer, president of the SWJCEDC, asked Gardner Energy to consider upping their membership level in the group, which helps new development in New Century AirCenter, Gardner and Edgerton.
Reiderer suggested that the board increase its investment from $600 per year to $1,250 per year and offer a $1,000 grant to SWJCEDC that would be used to create a marketing fund for the development corporation.
In a letter to the board, Reiderer said next year will be a pivotal year for southwest Johnson County.
“We have spent money over the last two years to build up our identity in the development community in the region and beyond,” Reiderer said. “To do that, we have used reserves. I would ask that you consider a marketing grant of $1,000 to help us continue this important part of what we do.”
He suggested the board could instead become a Platinum level sponsor of SWJCEDC with $2,500 investment.
Board member Ryan Beasley asked if there was a way to determine how the board benefited from last year’s $600 expenditure.
“I think that would be hard to quantify,” Bill Krawvzyk, Gardner Energy director, told the board during a Nov. 19 work session.
Last year, Reiderer said SWJCEDC was represented at several trade shows and continued to increase prospects for potential industrial and commercial developers in the area. He said SWJCEDC assisted in four small, completed development projects as well.
Board member Lance Boyd said he’d like to make sure that the city of Gardner and Gardner Energy are working together in the process of bringing in new development. Last year, the city invested $25,000 with the SWJCEDC. Council members have not yet determined what they’ll contribute next year.
“I don’t want to overshadow the city,” Boyd said.
Utility board debates development incentives