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Thread: Rural development ideas

  1. #1
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Rural development ideas

    Oh yee Throbbing Brain. Do any of you development folks have any off the cuff ideas for my town. Here are the basics:

    Population 1,500 holding about at that level for the last 20 years.
    45 miles from an MSA with a population of 125,000
    One manufacturer that employs 200 locally and 1000 or so in North America

    Problems and issues typical of rural towns.

    One of my council members is throwing around languge like "we need to think about development in a new way, because things are different these days".

    So, what are the newest most progressive ideas out there.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    I've been asking the same question around here. I've written a couple of columns on "out of the box" economic development ideas. I am not sure if this is what your talking about, but here's links to the articles.

    E-Recycling
    Organic Farming

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    Have you done any visioning exercises with city council or citizens to determine where they want to go? That might help get you started.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
    Bill "Spaceman" Lee

  4. #4
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon
    I've been asking the same question around here. I've written a couple of columns on "out of the box" economic development ideas. I am not sure if this is what your talking about, but here's links to the articles.
    Thanks!



    Quote Originally posted by Breed
    Have you done any visioning exercises with city council or citizens to determine where they want to go? That might help get you started.
    No, but that is one idea I have. I'm not sure I would get much participation from either group. We have a real problem getting folks (and the council) to participate in anything.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  5. #5
    Cyburbian michiganplanner's avatar
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    Are you familiar with the book Boomtown USA, by Jack Schultz. I have not completely read it or know quite enough details of your town, but I had the chance to hear Jack Schultz - he seemed credible and the ideas were widely applicable and relevent.
    I'd be more apathetic if I weren't so lethargic.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by giff57
    No, but that is one idea I have. I'm not sure I would get much participation from either group. We have a real problem getting folks (and the council) to participate in anything.
    In a town that small, it may be difficult. But I'd imagine that if you pulled in a couple vocal (but constructive) community members in with city council, some progress would be made.

    Just find out what people like and dislike about their community... and take it from there.

    Ultimately, it helps if you have at least one person on city council who is enthusiastic about what you are doing to help rally the troops.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
    Bill "Spaceman" Lee

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by michiganplanner
    Are you familiar with the book Boomtown USA, by Jack Schultz. I have not completely read it or know quite enough details of your town, but I had the chance to hear Jack Schultz - he seemed credible and the ideas were widely applicable and relevent.
    Jack Shultz is the CEO of Agracel in Effingham, Illinois. He built a private railroad (this link has an annoying train horn you may want to turn you speakers down) to serve an industrial park. He has done very well in Effingham and is an excellent speaker. Boomtown is a very well written book with good ideas.

    But
    Agracel owns acres of prime real estate in Mattoon and won't develop it unless Mattoon designates the land as a TIF district and builds the infrastructure for them. So far, the City is bending over backwards for them. They plan on building a convention center on the site. The land does not qualify as a TIF district and has resulted in a lawsuit, effectively halting all development in the area. I would not recomend this approach towards development.
    Here's the details:
    Coles County Leader
    Mattoon Journal Gazette
    Last edited by noottamevas; 10 Nov 2005 at 3:53 PM.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Value added agricultural processing? Are there renewable energy possibilities?

  9. #9
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michiganplanner
    Are you familiar with the book Boomtown USA, by Jack Schultz.
    I am reading that book now, I just need to take the time to finish it.

    Quote Originally posted by Planner22
    Value added agricultural processing? Are there renewable energy possibilities?
    We have a lot of renewable energy in the county. One ethanol plant and several wind farms. I need to visit with the CO-OP manager on the Value added Ag. Thanks
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  10. #10
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I remember reading a really interesting article on where customer call-centers, computer support, etc. are locating. More and more of them are heading to extremely small towns <5000 and finding that they can attract employees while paying them less due to cost of living and quality of life stuff. I can't for the life of me remember where I saw it though.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  11. #11
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    well....

    Quote Originally posted by giff57
    Oh yee Throbbing Brain. Do any of you development folks have any off the cuff ideas for my town. Here are the basics:

    Population 1,500 holding about at that level for the last 20 years.
    45 miles from an MSA with a population of 125,000
    One manufacturer that employs 200 locally and 1000 or so in North America

    Problems and issues typical of rural towns.

    One of my council members is throwing around languge like "we need to think about development in a new way, because things are different these days".

    So, what are the newest most progressive ideas out there.
    Do some behind the scenes work to figure out where those other 800 jobs are located (local manufacturer).....Get the tax rates from other states....maybe even SEC filings......Compare with your local tax rate....consider tax break for first 10 years on property......depending on salary types of the employees, could be a good overall deal for the town getting 600-700 more jobs (drop in number because I assume that having one central site for all the manufacturing might lead to some economies of scale)

    Then approach the CEO for a meeting under the Economic Development shield.....just make sure your City Commission and Manager are involved.....
    Run the numbers for the company and float the idea....what's the worst that could happen....they say no.....
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  12. #12
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    Run the numbers for the company and float the idea....what's the worst that could happen....they say no.....
    It's not really a tax issue, the way I understand it. They make doors and countertops. Bulky expensive items to ship, so it makes sense to have the manufacturing spread around a bit.

    I am meeting with the CEO soon. Getting workers could also be a problem. Here in Iowa the unemployment rate hovers about 3%.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  13. #13
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Build a Starbucks drive through and watch what happens.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    There have been many good ideas. The midwest is really missing the boat on natural and organic foods. While they are a major production region, they have not fostered the entrepreneurial small companies that make the products sold in the stores. This is a real opportunity, but probably at a regional or state level rather than within your community.

    As you are 45 minutes from a larger city, your local economy is likely closely tied to it. What are the growth sectors there? What industries are struggling, not because of markets, but due to constraints within their current location? Could they be attracted?

    Like many cities in the western plains, I expect that you are having some difficulty retaining or growing your population. Richard Florida's concepts apply just as well to rural areas as they do to metropolitan regions. Creating a more attractive place to live can lead to population growth, which can lead in turn to more economic opportunity.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  15. #15
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    Like many cities in the western plains, I expect that you are having some difficulty retaining or growing your population. Richard Florida's concepts apply just as well to rural areas as they do to metropolitan regions. Creating a more attractive place to live can lead to population growth, which can lead in turn to more economic opportunity.
    Ultimately, I think this is the way we have to go. I just need to convince the council to spend a little money doing that. We do have a great school and recreation center. I need to figure out what other things we can do to make us more attractive. I am working on doing a little marketing.

    The Sioux City MSA is a little lopsided to the South Dakota side as far as development goes. With very low taxes and no state income tax it is tough to compete with them.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  16. #16
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    This report may provide a few ideas about value added farming, wind power and other itmes. most of the towns are smaller than yours, and a bit more remote to a major centre, but may provide you some ideas.

    http://www.brucecounty.on.ca/download/Final_Report.pdf

    You may also want to look at the Rural and Small Towns Programme at Mount Allison University

    http://www.mta.ca/rstp/rstpmain.html

    The Atlantic Canada Opportunites Agency, while a regional economic developmetn agency might provide some ideas

    http://www.acoa.ca/e/index.shtml

    You may also want to look to the Canadian Rural Revitaliztion Foundation

    http://www.crrf.ca/
    Last edited by donk; 11 Nov 2005 at 12:32 PM.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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