PCDC Annual Meeting Celebrates Investors and Volunteers

24 Feb 2016

The Phelps County Development Corporation celebrated donors and volunteers who “shined the light on a brighter Phelps County future” at a light-hearted annual meeting Thursday, February 18, at the Holdrege Country Club.


The successful LB840 campaign, $30,000 in local scholarships, the naming and marketing of the New Iron Horse Business & Industry Park and the sale of ground for a local business expansion are some of the 2015 accomplishments that volunteers and donors made possible.


Nearly 100 volunteers helped with the LB840 campaign, which resulted in an 83 percent vote in favor of renewing the half-cent tax for economic development in the November election.


A video recapping the LB840 campaign brought laughter from the more than 50 attendees.


In the video, PCDC Board Member Tim Rehm shared his creative tactic of placing a flyer on the ceiling above his shampoo bowl at the Cutting Room to help promote the LB840 vote.


“Many of the customers are my age, and they couldn’t read it,” Rehm said. That gave him the perfect opportunity to share LB840 information.


“Economic development can be a lonely job sometimes,” Rehm said. “You are sitting in a board room and you don’t know what people are thinking. This gave us a good chance to educate people on what we have done and what is going on, things we have to be thankful for in Phelps County because of this choice we made 15 years ago.”


PCDC President Fred Diedrichsen said now that the tax has been renewed, PCDC will continue to listen to investor and public ideas for the future of economic development in Phelps County.


PCDC Executive Director Monica Boyken said that while the renewal of LB840 sales tax was a highlight of the year, many other achievements were accomplished in 2015 to help PCDC carry out its mission of encouraging business retention and promoting economic development while preserving the quality of life in Phelps County.


She cited the recent $3.4 million Orscheln’s Farm & Home Store expansion and the sale of PCDC ground for a $2 million Janssen & Sons Ford expansion that were both made possible with assistance or encouragement from PCDC.


In addition to the LB840 tax proceeds, more than 120 individuals, businesses and government entities have pledged funds to help fund PCDC activities.


“The strength of economic development projects here in Phelps County is based on that public and private partnership,” she said. “Together, we can make Phelps County the most prosperous county it can be.”


Also at the meeting, Diedrichsen selected Reed McClymont as the President’s Priceless Pick Award recipient for 2015. The award honors a board member who has gone above and beyond typical board duties representing the quote of the plaque that says, “Volunteers don’t just do the work; they make it work.”


When dilapidated fence and errant trees at the new Iron Horse Business & Industry Park were cited as a problem, McClymont offered his farm equipment and crew as a solution. He and other board members also visited a research farm in Colorado, and McClymont is now gathering input from other farmers to consider how a similar research farm might work in Phelps County.


By Kristine Jacobson for PCDC