PCDC Sparks More Than $80 Million in Local Investments

Friday, April 24, 2020

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In the past three years, more than $80 million in local investments have resulted through the direct or indirect work of the Phelps County Development Corporation.

These figures are reported in PCDC’s new Market Impact Summary, which was prepared by an economist at Nebraska Public Power District.

PCDC has supported, recruited or provided assistance for $80.3 million in local projects and has helped create between 87-117 new jobs in Phelps County.

“This report provides PCDC investors and civic leaders with a snapshot of their Return On Investment,” PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery said. “This initial version covers the past three years, but we intend to report these numbers annually going forward. Projects typically span months, sometimes years and this compilation helps put our efforts into perspective.”

The largest growth that can be traced to PCDC’s influence has come in the manufacturing industry, which has grown by more than $48 million in the past three years. PCDC continues to meet with manufacturing leaders and has helped pave the way for projects, such as working to secure ground for Briggs and Stratton’s current expansion.

“People often ask the question: Would this have happened anyway?” Tillery said. “We operate on the principle that activity attracts more activity - economic gravity - so the work conducted by PCDC generates investment directly and also attracts investment organically. Warren Buffett calls it the snowball effect. Our job is to keep the snowball growing.”

The biggest job growth occurred in manufacturing with between 30-60 new jobs at Briggs & Stratton/Allmand Inc. and 35 new jobs at BD. Another 22 new jobs are expected once the new Cobblestone Hotel is complete.

Other major projects that PCDC supported through site-location or financial assistance or consulting services were the new Southern Public Power District service center in Funk ($2.5 million project), the expanded VA Clinic ($2.25 million project), the Phelps Memorial Health Center expansion ($10 million) and the new ballfield complex in north Holdrege ($3.5 million project with $750,000 in PCDC support over 10 years).

The $80.3 million in local investments in Phelps County is estimated to have a total impact of $102.8 million on Phelps County’s economy with much of the positive impact being in the construction industry. Recent construction projects have supported 1,038 full-time equivalent jobs with labor income topping $33.6 million during the construction phase.

“This report helps to quantify the ripple effects generated by multiple projects; there are not only the direct construction costs but also the inferred benefits from construction salaries and sales generated at other businesses,” Tillery said.

The report also highlights PCDC’s support of $9 million in housing developments. A 2017 housing study indicated that 270 housing units would be needed over five years.

Since that time, PCDC has directly supported the new Washington Square apartments (18 rental units/$2.5 million project), Iron Horse Flats (18 rental units/$1.3 million project) and the new Crew Subdivision ($5.8 million) that will include up to 40 living units once completed.

In addition to supporting major housing projects, PCDC also brought 150 new residents to the county with its GO! HOME down payment assistance program that included a match from area employers. Many of those new employees already worked in Phelps County but were living elsewhere. PCDC also provided funds to remodel and update existing homes through its Phoenix GO! HOME program and contractor rehab grants.

The entire report can be viewed on PCDC’s website HERE.

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