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PPI makes proposal to Wells EDA

By Staff | Jan 22, 2012

Brad Berg

The city of Wells could be using a page of Winnebago’s game plan when it comes to economic development.

Bradley Berg of Public Private Initiative was on hand at the city’s EDA board meeting Tuesday to explain services he offers.

Last October, the Truman-based agency surveyed Winnebago businesses to identify wants and needs.

At the top of the list were — street scaping and a spec building.

“There were two companies that wanted to move into town if Winnebago would have had a spec building,” Berg says.

A three-member committee — two council members and City Administrator Jeremy Germann — is currently working on a job description for a community development director.

If the city hires Berg, says Germann, it would be to develop a marketing plan.

EDA board member Kim Sorenson says he was impressed with the Winnebago survey and called it a good study.

“I don’t know if we’ll find anything we haven’t discussed or what we should be doing. But, a survey would reinforce it and it would be in writing,” Sorenson says.

The Winnebago survey was paid using a grant from BEVCOMM.

Berg says the survey would cost $2,000 and it would involve contacting local businesses two or three times.

The focus would be on recruiting, expanding and sustaining business.

Board member Jim Heckman says he thinks the survey would be worth the cost, but doesn’t want to see it done and then forgotten.

“We don’t want to put it on the shelf and let it gather dust,” says Heckman.

Germann says he will work on trying to find funding sources for the survey.

In other business, the board asked Germann to get cost estimates for water, sewer and street improvements in the south industrial park.

“If the economy is recovering, we need to be ready … we need to get rolling,” says Heckman.

Half of the 17-acre industrial park has been divided into small lots for prospective businesses. At one time infrastructure improvements were estimated at $1.4 million.