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News : Board Of Economic Development Indicates Things Are Looking Good
Posted by Randy on 2013/8/15 4:52:09 (288 reads) News by the same author

Economic figures provided for Grundy county show an increase of 90 employees during the first half of this year.

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The report, shared with the Economic Development, committee shows nearly 47 hundred workers in June—the latest month statistics are available.

With a civilian labor force of almost five thousand, that’s an unemployment rate of five point nine percent. That’s one half of a pointless than the January jobless rate for Grundy County. Local figures for July are expected from the state division of employment security by the end of August.

Trenton economic development director Ralph Boots reports he’s received at least a dozen inquires since May from business and industry officials requesting information about Trenton. Among figures reported to the economic development committee to the city council, Boots said he has provided requested information to three out of seven industrial prospects and replied to four business inquiries.

Besides discussing plans for upcoming business seminars and leadership Trenton sessions, progress reports on active projects were given at a meeting of the Trenton economic development committee.

Ralph Boots reported the airport hanger door project has been completed. Gary Jordan has relocated a plane from the Brookfield airport to Trenton where Boots noted jet fuel is purchased and property taxes assessed. Per an agreement with the city, Jordan paid 12 thousand, 571 dollars for materials with city workers providing labor on that project. Boots noted with the new door, it allows for hanger space previously used for storage to be converted into an aviation purpose.

Boots reported a second grant from the U-S Department of Agriculture means over 55 thousand dollars ($30,000 plus $25,250) in funding has been secured for a multi-purpose pavilion proposed for the downtown area. Another 38 thousand dollars is needed as a local match to complete financing of the proposed construction project (estimated cost $94,000). The pavilion is seen as being used not only for a farmer’s market, but for the chili cook off among other
possibilities. Boots stated a committee also is to begin planning for what could be called the Veteran’s park in the vicinity of the old American Legion building downtown.

Boots at his city hall office, or Debbie Carman at the Trenton Chamber of Commerce, may be contacted by persons interested in purchasing tax credits to benefit downtown revitalization. Trenton Downtown Improvement Association was approved by the state to participate in the Neighborhood Assistance Program.

Those purchasing the tax credits get to use 70 percent of their contribution to offset state income taxes. Boots said funding allows T-D-I-A to make low interest loans for facade and building improvements downtown with an intent of attracting more businesses. Boots recommends prospective donators first consult with a tax advisor or accountant before making a contribution.

Boots told committee members that the manager for Eastgate Shopping Center is reviewing bids before finalizing an application for Tax Increment Financing. The proposal to be provided to the city is to include costs of the project and descriptions of the improvements to be done. Once the information is gathered, a meeting of the TIF Commission will be scheduled.

The city of Trenton and Grundy County submitted an application to the state which has approved a designation of “work ready community in progress”. Boots explained it allows time to meet the goal of “full status” where interested employees improve their resume by testing for career readiness certification.

Among community events, a series of business related seminars begins August 21st; the annual poker run to benefit the Chamber of Commerce is August 31st; Leadership Trenton sessions for adults are to begin late next month or early October; and the Chamber Chili cook off is scheduled October 5th.

The Trenton Police department has challenged the fire department to make Chili and allow the public to decide who has the best. Other entries are anticipated. Boots said the cook off also includes a pie baking contest.

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