1 Dec 2016
It’s December and the recent weather has reminded us that winter really is here. Despite the cold and snow, it is the time of year where we reflect on what we are thankful for and share the holiday spirit. Here at WEDC, I am thankful to have the opportunity to work for such a wonderful community and grateful for so many great community members with unwavering community spirit.
Along with sharing gratitude and cheer, we are excited to share what we have been working on throughout the last month. From housing discussions to our first annual meeting, we have been busy and jolly at WEDC!
WEDC Annual Meeting
WEDC held its first annual meeting on November 16th. 32 community members attended to share in the conversation about WEDC’s year one accomplishments and future plans.
Mayor Marty Huether gave a State of the City and WEDC President’s Report. He commented on the positive financial health of the city and gave a “Year in Review” report. He discussed his goals as Mayor and President of WEDC, and how he hopes to take a forward thinking, economic development approach to future projects. He discussed the differences between the chamber and economic development organizations, but also addressed how the two must work together to achieve community goals.
I gave the Executive Director report and explained that the purpose of WEDC is to promote economic interests, development and improvement of quality of life in Wall and the greater Wall area. We do this through providing resources to new, existing and expanding businesses, supporting community development projects and working toward housing development.
The meeting closed with special entertainment from the Wall FFA Ag Issues team, who presented “Agriculture Biotechnology: Should GMO Food Labels Be Mandatory?”
I would like to send a HUGE thank you to everyone who attended our first annual meeting!
WEDC had a great conversation with the Wall City Council concerning housing incentives, or creating a “housing toolbox.” No decisions have been made at this time, but the Council members were very supportive and we look forward to working with them to create the right mix of tools to make housing development possible in Wall.
WEDC hosted a Wall rental/seasonal housing discussion on Tuesday, November 29th. Meeting attendees included business owners, landlords and contractors, all gathered to discuss solutions for seasonal and rental housing.
The group discussed the following questions:
- When it comes to seasonal and rental housing, what do we have and what are our assets?
- What are our needs and barriers? In other words, what do we need to do, and what is holding us back?
- Is your business already engaged in housing development? If so, in what ways? What is working? What is not working?
Following the discussion, the group put together action items. These next steps include:
- Create an online housing directory to connect those seeking a rental to available rentals
- Increase communication about housing – create a widespread community housing network
- Research the cost of “tiny homes”
- Advertise that the housing group is looking for community members that are interested in selling or remodeling their home
- Start looking at possible plans for rehab or lot development
- Stay in contact with our Representatives to determine housing support, and make sure it is continued
If you would like to be involved in the housing discussion, please join us for our next housing discussion meeting, 8 am, Friday, December 16th, in the Wall Community Center. We would love to have you join!
Business Retention and Expansion
If you are interested in trying a business, but are not ready to fully commit to a storefront, please contact WEDC. There is a business space available for you to “test” your business! WEDC also has information about available office space and lots. If you are looking for ways to get your business off the ground, contact WEDC right away.
“Home for the Holidays”
The Chamber and Economic Development have partnered once again to bring the “Home for the Holidays” campaign to Wall. “Home for the Holidays” ends next week, Wednesday, December 7th after the Pancake Supper.
This holiday season remember to shop local. Wall’s small business owners help keep our community strong year-round. They work hard every day to make sure Wall has all the services our community members may need. When you are looking for gifts this year, remember to give back to our local businesses.
Wall Archery Range
We were awarded $10,000 from the Wellmark Foundation to get the Wall Archery Range started! This funding will make the Wall Archery Range a reality. We are looking for individuals to help us plan the range. If you are interested in sharing ideas, please let me know right away!
Marketing Hometown America
The facilitators have signed up and facilitator training will take place the week of January 9th. If you are interested in joining a community circle, please contact me right away! We will also provide you with an opportunity to sign up for a circle during the Ag Appreciation Banquet January 20th, and the basketball double-header January 21st. We can’t wait to get the community circles started!
If you are interested in learning more about WEDC and our goals or projects, or would like to be involved, never hesitate to contact me.
As always, thank you for being such a great community. It is because of you we have it all in Wall!
WEDC Executive Director