RCED Highlights of 2014

January

Kansas Department of Transportation officials made changes to plans to improve US36 through Belleville after citizens asked that entrances be designed to accommodate semis, and that a turning lane be built at S Street, which leads to Republic County Jr./Sr. High School.

RCED hosted the Republic County Housing Meeting Luke Mahin RCED, Carol Torkelson North Central Regional Planning, and Lyle Peterson with the Kansas Department of Commerce spoke to approximately 50 people across the county January 29 at a meeting about housing. Peterson said he was impressed with the turnout. “Many times we go for these meetings and there are six people there,” he commented. Read more here.

Rocky Pond continues to be an attractive holiday destination bringing people to Belleville & Republic County. Read more here.

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February

Work is scheduled to begin by the Pioneer Group to turn the former Republic County Middle School into apartments.

Republic County Economic Development successfully raised $71,360 through the sale of tax credits for the E-Community revolving loan program.

6th Street Fashions and Footwear, Belleville and Concordia, Shari Haug, owner, is one of eight businesses that will be honored statewide by the The Kansas Small Business Development Center as a 2014 Existinging Business of the Year. Read the article here.

The former Kafe Haus in Scandia gets makeover from new owner Tom Clark Insurance. Read more here.

March

Republic County Commissioners make updates to the Neighborhood Revitalization Program that provides property tax rebates to new construction.

Luke attended the Big Rural Brainstorm in Newton, Ks hosted by the Kansas Sampler Foundation.

Home sales in Republic County increased dramatically in 2013.RPHomesGraphic1

The 39th Cuba Rock-a-Thon raises over $35,000. The eight-day event featured a variety of speakers and entertainment, an auction, 317.5 hours of continuous rocking, and daily lunch and dinner. Read more here.

April

RCED has serious interest in the NCK Industrial Development 80 acre parcel of land on the west side of HWY 81 between 7th Street and Marble Road in Belleville. Republic County traded 22 acres of frontage property for farm ground with the group so they can market the property for development. Read more here.

Luke Mahin, RCED Director, was selected to be a panelist at the Kansas Rural Opportunity Conference hosted by the Kansas Department of Commerce in Dodge City, Ks.  Mahin discussed Republic County’s strategies to bring new people to their county leveraging incentives from the ROZ Program: student loan repayment & tax rebates.

Luke Mahin and Nick Levendofsky of Republic County attend the PowerUp Day on the Hill visit with legislators and Gov. Brownback on engaging rural youth in Kansas.

The Henry Strnad family donates 100 year old Minneapolis gas tractor to support community center in Munden. Read more here.

May

C & C High Tunnels offers new CSA option to purchase locally grown produce in Republic County. Read more here

Luke participated in the NCK Healthcare Taskforce meetings serving to explore ways to promote healthy activities in Republic County.

Pioneer Group hosts ground breaking ceremony  for the Buffalo Apartments at the former Belleville Middle School property.  Read more here.

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From left are Michael Couch, USD 109 superintendent; Melinda Pierson, director Belleville Chamber and Main Street, Belleville City Manager Neal Lewis, Belleville Mayor Tatum Couture, Fred Bentley with Kansas Housing Resource Commission (issuer of the housing tax credits), Republic County Economic Development Director Luke Mahin, Greg Hand with WNC (tax credit syndicator), and Ross Freeman, president of the Pioneer Group.

June

The Belleville City Council votes to start eminent domain proceedings on the entire 1700 block of M ST. Two vacant properties in the block flank Crossroads Floral, an operating floral and antique shop.

Tanner Johnson named new president at Swedish American State Bank since returning to Courtland in 2011

RCED posts a county job each week day on our Facebook & Twitter pages. Typically there are 15-30 positions open in the county at any given time and over half of those jobs pay over $10 per hour. This is a free service to our businesses.

Our job web page republiccountykansas.com/jobs, had 4,500+ visitors in 2014. This is an increase of 1,000 visitors from 2013, while reaching across Kansas and every state in the US

Republic County was visited by Marci Penner & Wendee LaPlant from the Kansas Sampler Foundation on their ERV (Explorer Research Volyage).  Read the whole blog post and view photos here.

July

Belleville completes work on the Housing Assessment Tool survey work. Read more here.

RCED & the Belleville Chamber & Main Street alternate months providing informational table tents on county restaurants tables for locals and travelers.\

RCED developed strategies for promoting and developing entrepreneurship in county through an E-Accelerator program offered for free from the E-Community program.

July events kept most the county busy with the American Ag Heritage Festival, 4th of July Pinic in Republic, Scandia River Fest, Cuba Harvest Fest, and 50th Courtland Fun Day.

August

NCK Free Fair sees great turnout for exhibits, rides, and has much thanks to do for the volunteer work each year. Read more from the Telescope here.

Dan and Monica Douglas will buy Geo. W. Hays and Son lumber companies in Belleville and Clyde. The business will be named Belleville Hometown Lumber.

RCED & The Belleville Chamber & Main St. provide businesses with signage opportunities at the NCK Free Fair walk ways.

Voters approved a levy of up to 12 mills for three years to help support operations at Republic County Hospital.

Loves Travel Stop contracts with the NCK Industrial Development to purchase 12 acres on the west side of US HWY 81 and 7th Street to build a truck stop. Construction will begin in 2015. Read more here.

The RCHS/BHS alumni group donated $1,000 to the ROZ Student Loan Repayment Program in Republic County. Read more here.

Kevin Hansen is awarded USDA grant funds to research feasibility of locally grown flour production. Read more here.

September

NCK Industrial Development will use $89,000 in industrial development funds to purchase the former Belleville Farm & Home building on the east side of the downtown square.

Rydal and Melany Tuxhorn have purchased the S&H Motel from Shari McGee.

RCED assists Scandia with the Housing Assessment Tool September 24th.

US HWY 36 Treasure Hunt continues to grow in it’s 9th year, Republic County towns entice travelers. Read more here.

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October

Oscar and Regina Sheetz have purchased BellCon Sanitation from Steve Anderson.

RCED assists Courtland with the Housing Assessment Tool September 8th.

Pike Valley USD #426 allows employees to sponsor themselves to receive ROZ Student Loan Repayment matching funds from the State of Kansas. The program uses the incentive to encourage young graduates to move back to rural counties.

RCED assisted Kevin Hansen with an application to the USDA Value Added Producer Grant he was awarded grant funds to research feasibility of locally grown flour production.

C & W Farm Supply expands in Courtland. They utilized the Neighborhood Revitlization Program to receive a property tax rebate for the development for 5 years.

Buffalo Apartments holds sneak peak has over 200+ visitors to view progress on the project. Read more here.

RCED receives $100,000 in tax credits to raise money for the revolving loan fund via the E-Community Program from NetWork Kansas. The E-Community program helped fund revolving loans to High Banks Hall of Fame, Belleville Hometown Lumber, & BelCon Sanitation totaling $534,000 in 2014.

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November

The old Scandia gymnasium may have a new owner December 1. Scandia mayor Gary Cline says he has made an offer to purchase the building.

The Kansas Department of Transportation awarded $8 million in bids to rebuild US36 through Belleville. Work is expected to begin in 2015.

Republic Co. Hospital contributes $8 million to payroll to county and area in 2014. Read more here.

Republic County USD #109 allows employees to sponsor themselves to receive ROZ Student Loan Repayment matching funds from the State of Kansas.

Main Street Cuts was purchased by Nici Shumard Krause in Courtland. The Curl Next Door is under new ownership across the street. It will now be called At Your Finger Tips Salon & Family Barbery offering hair salon, nail salon, and  massage services.

Lost Creek Seeds, LLC, a Syngenta dealer, is under construction on HWY 36 between Courtland and Scandia.

Cuba has lost a guiding light, Dale Huncovsky. Read more here.

RCED receives $1,500 from the Duclos Foundation toward the ROZ Student Loan Repayment Program. Republic County totals $31,350 to county projects out of the $52,000 awarded in 2014.  View the full list here.

December

CA Picard, US36, Belleville, was recently acquired by the Danish company Haarslev Industries. The business, which provides maintenance work and machining to equipment used in the rendering and oil seed industries, started in Belleville 25 years ago, founded by Ted and Connie Williams.

RCED developed strategies with Leon Atwell through E-Accelerator program and started business coaching visitations with potential growth and succession businesses in the county.

RCED successfully funds matching payment for three applicants in the ROZ Student Loan Repayment Program through donations organizations and businesses. Two applicants are sponsored by Republic County Hospital and one is self-sponsored via Pike Valley USD #426. Through the program applicants can receive $15,000 over 5 years towards their student loan debt.

Belleville will consider a formal ordinance on annexation and requests for utilities to new construction.

E-Community tax credits raises $67,000.00 ($50,250.00 in tax credits) in 2014 to add to the Republic County E-Community revolving loan fund.

In 2014 the RCD Revolving Loan Committee  (E-Community funds included) loaned out $534,000 for three Republic County projects with $171,925.99 available for new applicants. Funds will replenish as payment are made to the small business loans.

Republic Co. sales tax revenue increased 6.3% from 2013 to 2014. RP Co has seen a 48% increase in sales tax revenue from 2006 ($758,892.26) to 2014 ($1,129,846.62). See full sales tax revenue reports here.