Bill Thomas, the interim director of the Economic Development
Partnership, was at the meeting to provide a copy of the update he
gives to the Partnership every month.
“We continue efforts in workforce development in the manufacturing
area. We have a customized training program that we’re developing
for Eaton and wanting to start a little later in this month. The
whole concept of workforce development is really important for the
economic base here in Logan County,” said Thomas.
Thomas said he wants to see the same efforts being raised towards
increasing awareness of agricultural opportunities in the county.
“If you’re new, and you don’t own any land, and you don’t know how
to do these things- there are a lot of resources for folks who don’t
know about these things or sustainable ag,” said Thomas.
In addition, Thomas said he wants to see what the EDP can do to help
the wind farms that are coming in to the county and the possible
medicinal cannabis facility that may come to Logan County in the
The EDP is also looking into researching the by-laws of the
organization concerning funding and structuring of any future
economic group that may come into being.
Finally, Thomas said he is set to meet the new Tourism director soon
to begin establishing a good working relationship with Tourism and
the new director, Sarah Wallick.
Ruben informed Thomas of the Finance Committee’s intention to allow
the EDP to use the office space of the former Regional
Superintendent next year. Currently, the EDP is moving to an interim
location at the Logan County Farm Bureau.
Pam Meagher reported the activities of the Public Transportation
program run by Community Action in Logan and Mason Counties.
Meagher said that the program ended their fiscal year recently, and
they are experiencing a deficit of $19,000. Meagher said this is an
improvement from the year before, which was a $26,000 deficit.
Community Action absorbs any financial losses.
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Committee member Andy Anderson praised Meagher for her
efforts in helping to reduce that deficit. “They were looking at
$92,000 in the hole and that raised a huge red flag to Pam. She
said something’s not right,” said Anderson. Meagher said that
Community Action was not filing for reimbursement from a federal
grant for everything they should have been.
“It was a
struggle, because we didn’t agree with what was allowable. We got
the state involved, and they are very pleased with the diligence,”
said Meagher. “My goal is to make the program succeed.”
The federal grant is the primary source of funding for the
operation. Meagher also said that the grant agreement has increased
by eight percent this year.
Meagher said the program has acquired two new light transport
vehicles. “They are similar to the ones used by Lincoln College, or
the high school athletic program,” said Meagher. Currently, one of
the two vehicles is in use.
“We are talking about expanding hours to try and serve more
individuals,” said Meagher. Meagher said she thinks the community
still sees the program as something only for senior citizens.
Meagher said she will be working with Community Action to try and
get the word out that anyone can use the program.
Anderson added that Community Action is sending out questionnaires
to their frequent riders for feedback from the community on how they
can improve the program.
Committee members present for the discussions were Chairman David
Hepler; Robert Farmer, Rick Aylesworth, Gene Rohlfs, Andy Anderson
and Chuck Ruben. Board members David Blankenship and Jan Schumacher
were also present for the discussion. Executive director for the
Lincoln and Logan County Development Partnership, Bill Thomas, was
[By DEREK HURLEY]