Housing Shortage Discussion Dominates the JKEDC Meeting on August 3, 2021
Wed, 08/11/2021 - 9:30am admin
By Elizabeth “Liz” Meighen
The Jackson-Kadoka Economic Development Corporation (JKEDC) conducted its monthly meeting on August 3. Board Members attending the meeting included JoBeth Eisenbraun, Patty Groven, Brian Hundertmark, Rusty Olney and Eileen Stolley. Donna Enders and Lonny Johnston were unable to attend the meeting. Ryan Willert, a member of the Kadoka City Council who serves as a JKEDC liaison, also attended the meeting.
The Board approved the agenda for the meeting then approved the minutes from the July 2021 meeting. During the July meeting, the Board appointed Kadoka resident Patty Groven “to fill the remainder” of a term left vacant after the resignation of a JKEDC Board Member. Julie Herman, who was appointed to a three-year term in January submitted her resignation from the Board during the May meeting. The Board continued with matters of business and received a financial report from Eisenbraun, JKEDC executive director. She presented financial reports for the operational and revolving loan accounts. The revolving loan evolved after the JKEDC received a Rural Business Development Grant in 2012. The revolving loan funds currently available to qualified borrowers totals approximately $56,300. The loans serve to assist with the startup of new businesses and the expansion of existing companies located in Jackson County. Loan applications are reviewed and subjected to approval by an independent loan board of volunteers. Further information regarding the revolving loan program may be obtained at the JKEDC website at www.growkadoka.com.
Olney, JKEDC director, informed the Board that a former resident who owns a local property contacted him regarding options available to property owners who wish to remove uninhabitable homes and other dilapidated structures from their property. Olney informed the resident of the options available to property owners as outlined in a Joint Powers Agreement adopted by the city of Kadoka and the JKEDC in December 2018. The Agreement offers two options to property owners where they either to relinquish the parcel or retain the property. If a property owner chooses to relinquish the parcel, they convey the property to the JKEDC. The City removes uninhabitable structures, transferring the rubble off site and preparing the lot for new construction. Upon the sale of the property, the JKEDC remits payment to the city for the razing of structures and backfilling the property, paving the way for a new structure. The JKEDC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, so the sale price of the property equals the expenses to prepare the property for new development. If a property owner decides to retain the property, the cost of the removal is based upon the square footage of the structures set for demolition. The removal costs may vary, depending upon the complexity of the structure and amount of material needed to backfill and level the site. Either option improves upon the curb appeal of Kadoka, providing a building lot ready for development. The property owner also addressed the issue of an inoperable vehicle, which sits on this property and Olney advised him to contact local salvage companies to remove the vehicle after the owner forfeits the title to them.
Discussion turned to the area’s housing shortage and the lack of rental property available to individuals within the community or those offered employment who wish to relocate to Kadoka. The shortage in the housing market has created a sellers-market, prompting bidding wars and offers greater than the asking price. Rental property is also another hot commodity as farm and ranch families look to rent property during the school year so school aged children eliminate windshield time. Eisenbraun informed the Board that she did “some demographics related to housing costs in Kadoka and how this correlates to why do people want to move here.” She concluded that a single individual cannot afford to live in Kadoka and either rent a property or purchase a home based upon the hourly wage at which local businesses pay its employees. In addition to a shortage of housing, Eisenbraun and other Board Members commented that it is more difficult to entice professionals to Kadoka as the community lacks amenities desirable to young professionals and their families.
The next JKEDC monthly meeting will be held on September 7 at 6 pm at the Kadoka Volunteer Fire Department. The public is encouraged and invited to attend the meeting.