Three more months of good news?

How much good news can you handle? How about more evidence of strong economic growth in Valley County? Today we release our quarterly report which details the past three months of economic development, Chamber and tourism promotion activity in Valley County. We have helped guide strong economic growth into 2011 and have detailed the year-end expenditures of the economic development fund. A few key projects we’re proud of include:

— $7,500 in economic development loans to two businesses ($2,500 for start-up; $5,000 for facade improvements)

Thankful for the Opportunity to Raise Our Kids on a Farm

"Thankful for the Opportunity to Raise Our Kids on a Farm" photo by Angie Scheideler

— New Neighborhoods: Phase I infrastructure has been completed. Phase II homebuilding has commenced with one market rate home currently being constructed. One home has been contracted to begin, weather permitting, in early 2012. The second home constructed by New Neighborhoods Developer, LLC will call for bids in March 2012.

— Vision Valley County 2020 Plan Completed: Valley County Economic Development and UNL’s College of Architecture have completed project development recommendations for local leaders. Among the proposed projects include Downtown Revitalization Phase II, riverfront development along the North Loup River, green seams safe walking paths, Anderson Island improvement and countywide tourism development along the North Loup River. VCED will meet with leadership in January 2012 to begin strategic planning for suggested projects.

— Website Update: A new tourism website for Valley County has been completed and will launch 1/3/2012. The redesign effort has moved the website to a content management system and is built to sell the Loup Valley’s beautiful physical attributes to potential travelers. In addition, primary emphasis was placed on the local hospitality industry and retail so travelers are aware of the options available in the local business community.

A Moonlit Harvest

A Moonlit Harvest, 1st Place Photo by Megan Kallhoff

— A refund claim of $198,977.62 was approved by the Nebraska Department of Revenue for a qualified Nebraska Advantage economic development project. Nebraska Advantage, a statewide incentives program, makes available tax incentives for business development projects that meet certain employment and investment thresholds. The amount will be subtracted from monthly sales tax collections for economic development until paid in full.

You can also see how we use our economic development fund (made possible by a 1% sales tax levy) to grow the local economy. In 2011, 93% of the $838,295 has been spent on project-specific outcomes. Those expenditures include direct loans to businesses, economic development site improvements and marketing/promotions. Only 7% of program expenditures support staff salaries at VCED and the City of Ord for program administration. Have a peek for yourself (the full report can be found here):

2011 Sales Tax Fund for Economic Development Expenditures

As always, we love to hear back from you: what questions do you have about our programs?. Do you agree with how we use our fund for economic development?

Until then, Happy New Year!



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