Seibel briefs council on eco-devo work

Hillsboro City Council member were updated at their Jan. 18 meeting on economic-development activities the city has helped fund through the office of Clint Seibel, executive director.

Seibel, whose position is co-funded by the city and the Hillsboro Development Corp., traced the recent history of local economic-development starting in 2004, when HDC began discussions with Kansas State Univer?sity to work on local strategies.

The outgrowth of those discussion was the creation of Hillsboro Ventures Inc., a not-for-profit center with the goal of supporting local entrepreneurs ?by surrounding business start-ups and expansions with resources they need to succeed.?

To provide working capital, the group raised more than $200,000 in pledges and contributions from the community. Donors included local businesses and individuals ($133,700), HDC ($45,000) and the city of Hills?boro ($48,000).

An additional $8,000 was raised to provide remodeled office space in city hall.

Seibel said his office has been involved in numerous endeavors, the most visible including the recruitment of Wendy?s restaurant, support for South?west Spa?s relocation in Hills?boro from California, the erection of a new promotional billboard near the corner of U.S. Highway 50 and Indigo road, new signage in Hillsboro Industrial Park, and the acquisition of a business ?incubator? building on North Cedar Street.

Seibel also was involved in Hillsboro being designated an ?E-Community? through the Kansas Department of Com?merce. The ?E? stands for ?Entrepreneurial? and the local effort has resulted in the establishment of a revolving fund to support new business enterprises.

Funding for the revolving loan was raised through the sale of state tax credits in 2009 and 2010 totaling $300,000. Four businesses have benefitted from the program so far: Jostrux Graphics and Upholstery, Lalouette Law Office, Olde Town Restaurant and Absolute Shred.

Seibel said Hillsboro recently was chosen as the only city to join six counties in a pilot program called Kansas Entrepreneurial Communities Initiatives. The program will use webinar sessions to train personnel in community assessment, identifying opportunities and developing strategies.

Joining Seibel for the presentation to the council were Lyman Adams, HDC president, Brad bartel, HDC treasurer, and Phil Wyssenback, a member of the HVI board of directors.

Adams said he appreciated the spirit of partnership between HDC and the city and is excited about the future of economic development for the Hillsboro area.

He said city leaders, both private and public, are ?clicking on the same path? for economic growth in Hillsboro, whereas previous efforts often were ?scattered.?

Other business

In other business, the council:

? approved a pay estimate of $32,085 to Frederick Water?proofing and Roofing, the Wichita-based company repairing the Schaeffler House roof and chimneys.

? approved the mayor?s appointments to city boards: Edith Darting, reappointed to the Airport Board; June Glasgow and Peggy Goertzen, reappointed to the Convention and Visitors Bureau and Kay Klassen appointed as a new member; Frank Johnson and Gary Tibbetts appointed as new members to the Community Planning and Zoning Board; and Alvin Hett and Cheryl Bartel reappointed to another term on the Tree Board.

They join appointments approved at the council?s Jan. 4 meeting: Ryan Kleiner to the Recreation Commission, and Clint Seibel and JoAnn Knak, reappointed to the Airport Board.

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