Economic Development Opportunity Assessments Discussed at Auburn Session
Community leaders from Nemaha and four other Southeast Nebraska counties came to Auburn Tuesday night, May 15, to discuss development opportunity assessments for their respective counties.
Those who attended included: city officials, county commissioners, representatives of chambers of commerce and economic development organizations, and representatives of Five Rivers Resource Conservation & Development and Southeast Community College (SCC). Municipalities represented included: Auburn, Johnson, Falls City, Humboldt, Pawnee City, Syracuse, Talmage and Tecumseh. About 25 persons attended.
The Auburn meeting was the fifth of five regional meetings throughout the 15-county Southeast Nebraska Development District (SENDD). Kevin Burnison, economic development specialist with the district’s Humboldt office, said that the attendance in Auburn showed the interest of civic leaders from the five Southeast Nebraska counties. Burnison said that an average of 10-12 persons attended previous meetings. The development opportunity assessments were compiled by staff of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship in support of SENDD’s Economic Development Strategy.
Top five considerations for Nemaha County were: renewing the population, regional development, business and farm transition, local entrepreneurs and business retention.
Local enterpreneurs was also a top consideration for Johnson and Pawnee counties. Regional development was also a top consideration for Johnson County. Business and farm transition was also a top consideration for Pawnee County. Business transition was also a top consideration for Johnson and Richardson counties.
The Nemaha County assessment also emphasized that Peru State College was the home of important human talent that could help Nemaha County civic leaders vision a better future.
“We need to tell the world that we have a vibrant Peru State College. It provides services for those within commuting range as well as traditional students,” Burnison said.
Ron Snyder of SCC said that there is difficulty in rural areas getting people to emphasize a regional concept.
“We know that it’s challenging. We want to do better. It’s a challenge in the rural areas,” he said.
Those who attended the Auburn session completed a survey. SENDD staff will gather feedback from those who attended all five sessions as well as an online survey.
SENDD staff is also available to work with members of local development corporations, chambers of commerce and municipal economic development committees in one-on-one sessions on specific aspects of community and economic development.
Justin Wolske and Ehren Parks gave a presentation. They are seeking financing from LB 840 and other sources to film a movie in Southeast Nebraska. Wolske and Parks plan to spend additional funds in the area during production, as well as providing media production and literacy training to the community as part of the proposed collaboration.