October 2011: Projects and Announcements
Five economic development announcements were made in October 2011. Two were connected to the region's Shovel Ready Sites program, the first program of its kind in the state of Iowa. Additionally, an announcement regarding the reorganization of economic development statewide.
Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress
Executive Order No. 75 created the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress (IPEP).
The board will focus on "job creation, identifying emerging global markets, harnessing competitive economic forces, increasing the income of Iowa families and growing Iowa's economy."
The IPEP board will be composed of no more than 15 members appointed by the governor. The partnership will include the following four ex-officio, non-voting members: the chair of the economic authority board, the head of the Iowa Innovation Corp., the director of the economic development authority and the governor, or his designee.
The 11 other members will be individuals who are "actively engaged in the private, for-profit sector of the economy or have experience in private sector job creation and economic development."
The goal of this board will be to develop a strategic vision for economic development and private-sector job creation.
The economic development authority will provide staff support to IPEP, as needed. Initially, terms of members will be staggered with five members appointed to an initial one-year term and six members appointed to an initial two-year term. The members will serve at the pleasure of the governor, without compensation and in an advisory capacity. The board members are subject to Senate confirmation.
Shovel Ready Research Park
The State of Iowa approved $331,854 in infrastructure improvement funding to the City of Coralville to upgrade and expand sewer services for a development project at the University of Iowa Research Park (UIRP). The request is part of a larger investment being made by the City of Coralville and the UIRP to make adjoining lots suitable for development to increase opportunities for future investments and job creation.
Once completed these sites will be reviewed for shovel ready status from Shovel Ready Iowa.
The state of Iowa approved $12,000 in financial assistance to Rives Audio. Originally a small-room acoustics engineering firm, Rives Audio purchased Talon Loudspeakers in 2007, and in 2009, moved nearly all of their operations from Utah to Iowa for the purpose of improving the overall quality in manufacturing, and to re-launch the Talon brand. The financial assistance award will be used for the development of the active crossover and the marketing and product launch of its new product.
Quad Cities International Airport
The Quad City International Airport (MLI) has completed rehabilitation of the main 10,000-foot runway, known as 9/27. The rehabilitated runway 9/27 will feature 47,000 cubic yards of new concrete. Paved asphalt shoulders on each side of 9/27 are an added safety enhancement.
The Iowa Department of Economic Development board has approved $100,000 in direct financial assistance as well as tax incentives to H.J. Heinz Company for a possible expansion at their Cedar Rapids facility, located at 4601 C Street SW. The expansion is primarily machinery and equipment, but would also include small building additions.
Stuefen Manufacturing will occupy a 10,000 square foot facility on approximately 2.3 acres of the Tipton Busines Park. Stuefen Manufacturing builds and installs Powerlift Hydraulic doors, marketing them largely for agricultural use, business and airport hangars. The Tipton Business Park is the first property in the region to be certified by the Iowa Shovel Ready program.