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Economic Development Notes

THE CONSTRUCTION OF DUPLEXES AND THE CONTRACT FOR THE DIRECTOR WERE ITEMS FOR THE NORTON CITY COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD LAST NIGHT.  NORTON ESTATES L.L.C. HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED AND ALL THE PAPERWORK HAS BEEN DONE TO TRANSFER THE PROPERTY IN THE NORTHWEST PART OF NORTON.  12 DUPLEXES WILL BE BUILT FOR 24 FAMILIES TO MOVE IN TO.  THERE WILL BE NO REQUIREMENTS FOR RENTING THE HOMES.  BAINTER CONSTRUCTION OF HOXIE IS THE GENERAL CONTRACTOR.  THEY ARE WORKING ON SEVERAL COMPLEXES LIKE THE ONE BEING BUILT IN NORTON.  THEY PLAN TO START CONSTRUCTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  A GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY HAS BEEN SET FOR JANUARY 9TH AT ONE AT THE SITE AT THE CORNER OF WEST CRANE AND REAGAN STREETS.  THE CITY OF NORTON WILL BE HELPING WITH THE STREETS, WATER AND ELECTRICAL HOOK-UPS.  THEY ARE WAITING ON PENCO ENGINEERING FOR THE ELEVATIONS OF THE AREA.  THEY WILL BUILD THE DUPLEXES FOUR AT A TIME.  ALSO LAST NIGHT, THE CONTRACT FOR DIRECTOR SCOTT SPROUL WILL BE UP IN AUGUST.  THE BOARD APPROVED A FIVE-YEAR CONTRACT WITH SPROUL WITH A SALARY INCREASE AND THEN THEY WILL NEGOTIATE FOR THE FIFTH YEAR SALARY.  SPROUL PRESENTED A PIE CHART THAT SHOWED THE AMOUNT OF PROJECTS AND MONEY THAT WERE BROUGHT IN TO THE NORTON COMMUNITY IN THE PAST YEAR.  IT ALSO SHOWED THE GRANTS THAT WERE APPLIED FOR.  NORTON ESTATES L.L.C. IS THE RECIPIENT OF A 400 THOUSAND DOLLAR GRANT FOR THE PROJECT FROM THE KANSAS RESOURCES HOUSING CORPORATION.  SPROUL IS NOW WORKING ON A COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT DOWNTOWN REHABILITATION GRANT FOR THE SIDLES BUILDING.  THERE HAS BEEN SOME INTEREST IN PUTTING A BUSINESS IN THAT BUILDING.  THIS GRANT WOULD BE FOR OUTSIDE RENOVATION ONLY AND THE BUSINESS WOULD HAVE TO PUT IN 25 PERCENT MATCH.  THE GRANT IS DUE FEBRUARY FIRST.  ADDITIONAL CHANGES WERE MADE TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION PROGRAM.  THEY CHANGED THE CLASSIFICATION FOR COMMERCIAL, AG AND INDUSTRIAL.  THEY ALSO INCREASED THE CAP ON HOUSING RENOVATION TO 150 THOUSAND DOLLARS TO BE IN LINE WITH AREA COUNTIES.  THE COMMISSIONERS HAVE APPROVED THE CHANGES AND THEY WILL BE PUBLISHED THEN A PUBLIC HEARING WILL BE HELD.  THE NATIONJOB.COM WEBSITE IS UP AND RUNNING.  23 JOBS ARE LISTED FROM NORTON COUNTY AND SOME ARE FROM DISCOVERNORTON.COM.  ELLIS, THOMAS, RUSSELL, NORTON AND PHILLIPS COUNTIES ARE PARTICIPATING.  THE KANSAS HEALTH FOUNDATION PLANNING GRANT IS SUBMITTED.  GINA FRACK FROM THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WORKED TOGETHER ON THE GRANT.  IT WILL SHOW WHERE NORTON COUNTY NEEDS TO GO IN TERMS OF INVESTMENT ON HEALTH CARE ISSUES.  THE E-COMMUNITY HAS FOUR SCHOLARSHIPS FOR THE JON SHALLERT DESTINATION BUSINESS BOOT CAMP COMING UP MARCH 5-7TH IN LONGMONT COLORADO.  THE COUNTY APPRAISER IS LOOKING AT ADDING MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING UTILITY INFORMATION TO THE GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM.  THE NEXT MEETING OF THE NORTON CITY COUNCIL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD WILL BE TUESDAY JANUARY 15TH AT 5:45 IN THE OFFICE AT 205 SOUTH STATE STREET.  ALL MEETINGS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.