Wall Economic Development Corporation held Meeting
The Wall Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) held their Fifth Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 18th. Members of the current Board of Directors introduced themselves: Mary Williams, Marty Huether, Carolynn Anderson, Josh Geigle, Kallie Kjerstad, Cindy Hauk, Steven Edoff, and High school board representatives Brycen Cheney and Sierra Hilgenkamp.
Mary Williams reported about the history of WEDC and highlighted events started by former director Cheyenne McGriff . She gave an update on the progress of the Wall Industrial Park.
Executive Director Liliya Stone talked about the role of Economic Development in the community and highlighted projects WEDC executed in the last few years:
1. Administered the City of Wall Disaster Bridge Grant that provided $52,006.91 to 16 businesses in Wall to help with utility expenses.
2. Created New Worker Relocation Program to help businesses attract workforce. This program offers $750 in moving expenses to individuals who decide to move and work in Wall.
3. Brought the Marketing Hometown America program to Wall that has a long-lasting, positive influence on the community. Such as the Wheelin’ to Wall event, under the leadership of Charon Geigle.
4. Assisted new businesses that brought significant impact to our community: Wall Meat Processing Plant and Legacy Child Development Center.
5. Worked with the Wall City Council to create opportunities for future growth and development: designation of Industrial Park and property tax discretionary formula that provides a tax break for five years for any new Industrial or commercial structure.
6. Taken steps toward housing development in Wall:
• Housing study to better understand housing issues in Wall.
• Two housing incentives created: property tax rebate and demolition agreement.
• Purchased and prepared lot for three new governors homes.
7. Other successful projects:
• Archery Range and Wall Community Garden
• Youth projects (replacement of playground equipment, establishment of the ice rink and small skateboard park)
• Mailbox project for graduating seniors
• Walking Path from Kelly Addition to the school
• Introduction to new events (International Festival, Parade of Lights and Sky View Drive-In movie theater)
8. Businesses recognized were:
• Little Outpost for business expansion
• Subway, Wall Building Center, Badlands Housing and Hill Crest for business improvements
Stone shared Economic Development Goals for 2021 that includes South Dakota Light Industrial Park Certification of Industrial Park, establishment of leadership classes in Wall and launch of the new WEDC website.
High School youth were recognized for their service on the WEDC Board of Directors: Kyla Sawvel, Mercede Hess, Andrew Law, Brycen Cheney and Sierra Hilgenkamp.
Guest speaker, Tom Johnson, President and CEO of Elevate-Rapid City, shared the vision and mission of that public/private partnership and told stories that were relevant to economic development based on his experiences working in Wyoming and Colorado.
Wall Economic Development award recipients were: Business Retention and Expansion or Creation Award: Joe Leach; Economic Driver: Wall Drug; Outstanding Employer: C9 Enterprise and Friend of Economic Development Award: Marty Huether.
The WEDC officers elected for 2021 were . Mary Williams, President; Marty Huether Vice President; and Carolynn Anderson as Secretary/Treasurer. Kalie Kjerstad was re-elected to a three-year term to the board.
The next regular WEDC Board of Directors meeting will be held at 6 pm on Wednesday, January 27th at the Community Center. Meeting was adjourned at 8 pm.