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Interim director chosen for ICEDC

By ANDREA FURLONG

An economic development consultant from West Des Moines has been chosen as the interim director of the Iowa County Economic Development Commission (ICEDC).

Clark Smith is an employee of Smart Solutions Group, a West Des Moines firm that provides economic development services. He has over 24 years of economic development experience. Some of Smith’s previous positions include serving as a community consultant for the Iowa Department of Economic Development; director of economic development for Aquila, Inc.; and president of the Professional Developers of Iowa and the Community Development Society of Iowa.

ICEDC Chair Craig Stallman said the commission chose Smith over a handful of local applicants because of his background in economic development.

“We figured $1,000 a month would be a good place to put that money to have somebody who already knows what they’re doing, has some contacts and has been through some of this stuff before. It’s nice to be able to hire somebody local, but at the same time you don’t know what kind of expertise they would have in that field,” he said.

Stallman noted the commission has the option to hire an Iowa County resident to be the permanent director when Smith’s term expires this summer.

Smith will serve as the part-time ICEDC interim director for the next six months for approximately $6,000. The ICEDC approved naming Smith as an interim director at its Jan. 27 meeting, with a contract to be negotiated at a later date by Chair Stallman, vice chair Tony Hocamp and secretary Vic Rathje. Hours on the job, beginning and end dates of employment and other details have yet to be finalized.

In Smith’s proposal to the commission, he offered to work on the following items during his time as interim director: develop a membership drive, develop a Web site, communicate with business prospects, train the commission on how to respond to business prospects, enter county data on locationone.com (a Web site marketing property available for purchase) and implement the use of business retention and expansion software.   

Smith will work out of the ICEDC’s newly named office at Iowa County Farm Bureau, 212 W. State St., Williamsburg. Iowa County Farm Bureau will provide the rent as an in-kind service. Smith will also have access to a Blackberry and laptop paid supplied by the commission. Both pieces of equipment will stay with the commission regardless of whether the ICEDC renews Smith’s employment after six month.

The ICEDC will also reimburse Smith’s mileage. Commissioners said Smith said he will not ask for reimbursement for the drive from West Des Moines to the ICEDC office or any drive under 30 miles. The commission has budgeted $1,500 toward mileage reimbursement for fiscal year 2010.

Smith is scheduled to lead the ICEDC at its next meeting Feb. 17.

LOGO

The ICEDC selected its logo from seven images entered by Iowa County residents into the ICEDC logo design contest. The design consists of an open road and green fields bordered by a blue sky that spreads across the acronym “ICEDC.”

Commissioner Linda Yoder said the winning design was an easy pick for the ICEDC.

 “We just felt that one would be the best. Everybody voted for that except for one commissioner. We just figured that would work the best at any size and on a letterhead,” she said.

The ICEDC is still attempting to identify the winner, a Williamsburg resident, who submitted no contact information other an address and the name “Owen.” 

BUDGET

The ICEDC approved both the fiscal year 2010 and 2011 budget proposals. The ICEDC estimated $29,235 of revenue for fiscal year 2010 (February through June) and $20,174 toward expenses. Revenue includes $25,000 from the Iowa County Board of Supervisors, a $4,000 state grant and $235 donation. Expenses include approximately $5,000 toward the interim director’s salary, $650 for a Blackberry and contract, $800 for newsletters, $1,000 toward paper and postage, $650 toward office rental (to be taken out of Iowa County Farm Bureau’s annual 1,000 donation), $1,000 for a computer, $1,524 toward a guest speaker and $5,000 to $7,5000 toward Web site development.

For fiscal year 2011, revenues are estimated at $51,550 while expenses are projected to total $55,480. Commissioner Yoder, who worked on the budget proposals, told the commission not to worry about having a deficit next fiscal year.

“It does not balance at all because I’m figuring we’re going to get more grants and many more things, as far as coming in to help us,” she said.

Fiscal year 2011 expenses include $15,000 for the director’s salary, $5,000 for dues to professional organizations, $3,600 for mileage reimbursement, $6,000 for seminars, $3,000 for speakers, $2,400 of postage and paper, $1,920 toward a newsletter, $1,560 for office rental, $1,200 for a Blackberry contract, $900 for a Web host and Web site development and $500 of advertising, among others. Anticipated revenues include a $10,000 community vitality grant (yet to be awarded), $25,000 from the Iowa County Board of Supervisors, $4,500 of city dues, $10,000 from business memberships and $2,000 from organization dues.

The next meeting of the ICEDC will be held Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 6:30 p.m., at the Kirkwood Learning Center, Williamsburg.

UPDATED February 3, 2010 11:07 AM

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