February 10, 2016

Utility board debates development incentives

Danedri Thompson
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.


  1. Judith Rogers says:

    As far as I am concerned Gardner Energy, which is owned by the citizens of Gardner by in large, , should not be involved in these handouts – just like I don’t want the city of Gardner giving them $25,000 – this is your hard earned money. Enough is enough and I also didn’t want to pay for those transfer fees nor do I want to give the fat cats a 30% reduction in their electric rates. This area has some families truly struggling – they should not be involved in the risks and costs of the development business, however, I would feel the same if things were going really well for the average citizen. It is bad enough for all of the infrastructure costs we have to pay whether we like it or not.

    Cronyism government is alive and well everywhere you turn and has been for sometime and I know who are paying most of the costs while the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and more of the middle class are going into poverty. The trickle down economic bull hockey is something I don’t think people should be eating and drinking – it will make you sick in more ways than one in my opinion.

    So we will see how the politicians and their appointed rubber stampers and the bureaucrats will be voting and endorsing………..I am sure it will be the same ole, same ole with maybe one or two exceptions and the people bring so much of it on themselves by the votes they cast……..going along to get along doesn’t do much for hardworking citizens in the long run………..but it does wonders for the takers and that is why they are always hanging around City Hall and wanting more and more and more and more…………..

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