New Year, New Officers; After School Program Seeks Letter Of Support
Wed, 02/10/2021 - 9:36am admin
By Elizabeth “Liz” Meighen
The Jackson-Kadoka Economic Development Corporation conducted its regularly scheduled, monthly meeting on Feb. 3 at the Kadoka Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD). Due to the Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and restrictions imposed on public use of the community room, the JKEDC temporarily conducts their monthly meetings at the KVFD. Board members attending the meeting included Jo Beth Eisenbraun, Donna Enders, Bryan Hundertmark, Rusty Olney and Eileen Stolley. Ryan Willert, a member of the Kadoka City Council, attended the meeting as a liaison. Board member Jamie Hermann was unable to attend the meeting.
The meeting was called to order and the Board members reviewed then approved the meeting minutes for January 2020 and the agenda for the meeting. In the next order of business, the Eisenbraun presented her report as the JKEDC Executive Director. She presented financial reports for the operational and revolving loan accounts as of Jan. 31, 2020. She further reported that the coffers of the JKEDC operational account will increase by $5,000 next month. The City of Kadoka makes an annual payment to the 501(c)(3) corporation, enabling the JKEDC to maintain its operational expenses. The Board received a favorable report on the payments made by the three remaining loan recipients. The payments replenish the funds of the revolving loan accounts and provide business loans for new endeavors or to assist with expansion of existing ones. The JKEDC received a Rural Business Development Grant in 2012 and, subsequently, developed the revolving loan program. 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 revolving loan funds currently available to qualified borrowers exceeds $53,000. During the report, Hundertmark asked the other members of the Board about the terms of the loans offered through the program as he stressed the importance of making properly secured loans through the language of loan documents. 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.
The new year also brought new appointments to the Board of the JKEDC. The Board moved to appoint Herman and Hundertmark to three-year terms as members of the JKEDC Board of Directors. Hundertmark accepted the appointment. The next matter of business related to the governing of the nonprofit corporation—election of officers. The Board moved to appoint Olney to continue as the President of the Board and Enders as the Vice-President.
Before proceeding to the next matter of business, the Board turned their discussion to the current status of Fromm’s Hardware and Plumbing sale of the building and its current inventory. In previous meetings, the Board members noted the building needed repairs to be completed on the heating, venting and air condition, in addition to repairs to both the electrical and sewer systems. The building remains on the market with a small amount of interest and a response to the recent advertisement in the South Dakota State Classifieds. Olney provided a positive note and commented that the Fromms replaced the metal roof since they bought the building from the owners of Hogen’s Hardware. The JKEDC authorized payment for the sale advertisement to run for three consecutive weeks. Olney commented that it would be ideal if “we could get a plumber and an electrician to come into the area.”
A report from the JKEDC Officers commenced with Enders reporting that the Kadoka Area School after-school program plans to seek a grant. Nikki Bonenberger requested a letter of support from the JKEDC. Stolley moved to draft the letter of support and the Board approved it. Hundertmark commented on her creativity in the program and “activities for kids” in the program. Bonenberger appeared on behalf of the program. She explained the program did not proceed with any applications last year due to the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The program hopes to partner in an agreement with
JKEDC and contribute time to projects in the community, “being mindful of any liabilities.” Stolley commented that if “our young people” want to come back here or stay, then programs such as these encourages them. Eisenbraun noted that she plans to conduct a “senior survey”, such as the one in 2019, that provides answers to questions relating to plans for KAS students after graduation. Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented her from conducting the survey.
In the Director’s report, Olney told the Board that the Jackson County Highway Department (JCHD) and the City of Kadoka have been in negotiations relating to property owned by the City. The JCHD plans to construct a new building on property located at the intersection of South Dakota state Highway 248 and Thirteenth Avenue. The City owns a parcel of land adjacent to the proposed building site and the JCHD wishes to enter into an agreement where the current building and lot housing the JCHD would be traded for the parcel, just shy of five acres. The City does not want the current building, as it has a shop located at the intersection of Chestnut Street and Tenth Avenue, but they have an interest in the land at the site of the current JCHD shop. Olney said the City is waiting for the agreement in hopes of quickly finalizing it. He noted the JCHD is seeking bids to improve upon the curb appeal of the current JCHD facility. In closing his report, Olney noted the Kadoka City Council plans to address an ordinance restricting mobile homes to be less than 15 years old as it is “too stringent a code and we decided to do it on a case-by-case basis.” There is a shortage of housing in the area. He continued, noting the Council has recently been approached by members of the community who have requested exceptions for mobile homes that have been upgraded and could provide a home with good curb appeal. Eisenbraun noted that it is a “sellers-market” and property listed sells quickly. Olney closed by commenting on how quickly the Badlands Distillery was completed and “it is exciting, it looks really nice too.”
The next meeting is scheduled for March 3 at 6 p.m. at the KVFD. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the meetings.