Elizabeth Meighen

JKEDC Reports On Project Properties; Plans For Future Library Fundraisers

The Jackson-Kadoka Economic Development Corporation (JKEDC) met for its regularly scheduled, monthly meeting on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. at the Kadoka Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD). Normally, the JKEDC conducts its meetings in the community room at the Gateway Apartments but access has been restricted due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic (COVID-19). Board members attending the meeting included JoBeth Eisenbraun, Donna Enders, Brian Hundertmark, Lonny Johnson, Rusty Olney and Eileen Stolley. Board member Jamie Hermann was unable to attend the meeting. Ryan Willert attends the meetings as a liaison for the Kadoka City Council but was unable to attend the meeting. 

After calling the meeting to order, the Board approved the agenda for the meeting and the minutes for the November monthly meeting. Eisenbraun, JKEDC executive director, presented financial reports for the operational and revolving loan accounts as of Nov. 30, 2020. The JKEDC received a Rural Business Development Grant in 2012 and, subsequently, developed the revolving loan program. Eisenbraun reported timely payments on the remaining loans. The revolving loan funds currently available to qualified borrowers totals approximately $50,550. These loans serve to assist with the startup of a new business or provide opportunities for existing ones. Loan applications are reviewed and subjected to approval by an independent loan board of volunteers. The JKEDC website at www.growkadoka.com provides information on properties for sale in the area, a means of which to initiate contact the JKEDC and how to obtain further information on the application process for a loan.

Olney, JKEDC director, informed the Board that he visited with Brian Fromm regarding Fromm’s Hardware, a staple brick and mortar business on Main Street in Kadoka. The hardware store closed, liquidating much of the inventory. The hardware store was originally opened as Hogen’s Hardware by Marvis and Florence Hogen. Its successor, Fromm’s Hardware and Plumbing, provided employment opportunities for members of the community. Olney suggested that an advertisement for the sale of the building, the Hardware Hank franchise along with its current inventory be placed in the “statewide ads” for two or three weeks. The South Dakota classified network places information regarding the property into approximately 140 newspaper publications throughout the state. The total circulation of the advertisement totals 296,000 targeted readers. In addition to the building and inventory, the JKEDC also plans to offer the prospective buyer the opportunity to secure a loan, if needed, to assist with the transaction. The Board approved a motion to place an advertisement for the property and the option for the prospective buyer to secure a loan through the revolving loan program sponsored by the JKEDC. The revolving loan account was made possible from monies received by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through appropriations funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The JKEDC received a Rural Business Development Grant in 2012 and, subsequently, developed the revolving loan program. 

Olney noted that the JKEDC needs to send bills to property owners for demolishing structures on the property. The city of Kadoka provides the labor and equipment to demolish uninhabitable structures through a Joint Power Agreement adopted by the city of Kadoka and the JKEDC in December 2018. The purpose of the Agreement is to open the way for site ready building lots and improve upon the curb appeal in Kadoka. Upon the sale of the property, the JKEDC remits payment to the city for the razing of structures and backfilling the property, paving the way for a new structure. Recently, a property owner utilized the first option available in the program to remove a dwelling and retain the property. The cost of the removal is based upon the square footage of the structures set for demolition. The cost to backfill vary from property to property. 

Recently, one family prepared for the delivery of their new home. The Nemeck family received an early Christmas present when their home was safely delivered to the corner of Bayberry Street and Ninth Avenue. That property was once a project property where the owner retained the property and paid for the removal. Eisenbraun reported the receipt of another application. The current applicant wishes to remove a single-story structure and retain the property. The removal of the structure allows the property owner greater access to an adjacent property which he owns. The Board approved the application and plan to forward it to the city office for presentation at the city council meeting scheduled for Dec. 14.  

Enders reported fundraiser for the Jackson County Library (JCL) successfully raised approximately $4,200 at the recent craft fair. She further reported plans to hold a luncheon before Sunday bingo games and offer sewing classes. These projects will occur primarily in January as the December holidays present scheduling conflicts. Enders further reported changes to the JCL construction plans with plans for further discussion slated during the next fundraising event. She noted that a property is for sale by the owner in Kadoka for approximately $45,000. Eisenbraun commented that there was no realtor involved in the sale of the property. Olney noted it “would take some money to put into it and it could be a nice place.” The lack of properties available for sale in the region presents problems when recruiting employees for the health care or educational facilities in the area as they cannot find adequate housing. He informed the Board that he presented a packet with information on Dakotaplex housing available through the South Dakota Housing Development Authority to the Board for the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital. He stated that the Board estimated the need for five permanent and five temporary residences in Philip to accommodate health care workers. Olney told the Board that he has been approached about available property in town as families search for housing to assist with needs during the academic year when children, too young to drive, must get transportation to and from school. 

Johnston suggested the community support a wind farm considering that wind blows consistently in our region. Olney noted the primary issue is the ability to transfer unused power or store it for future use. He commented on the project in New Underwood and Olney noted that they [New Underwood] have an area of concentrated population in proximity of an end user such as that of Ellsworth Air Force Base.  

In her report to the Board, Eisenbraun commented that “grants are a tough sale” as most are directed towards COVID-19, the reopening of businesses and improving the economy. Eisenbraun added that she knows of three families looking for rentals as their children reach the age to attend school and the great distances some must travel to get to and from school. She noted the annual meeting is set to coincide with the date of the regularly scheduled, monthly meeting slated for Jan. 6 at the KVFD.


The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
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