GHDC focus on retaining, expanding existing businesses

HURON — Economic development leaders in Huron are focusing their energies on assisting in retention and expansion efforts of existing businesses, the vice president and chief operating officer of Greater Huron Development Corporation said Monday.
Ted Haeder, in a semi-annual update to the City Commission, said GHDC is meeting with local employers to determine their needs while helping provide access to federal and state resources.
GHDC is not actively recruiting new businesses, but is responding to requests for proposals from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development that would be a good fit for Huron, with an emphasis on businesses related to agriculture and value-added agriculture as well as manufacturing.
Forty area employers and postsecondary institutions participated in the May 1 Career Expo, an event that drew more than 200 high school students and adults.
Acres are available for purchase in Huron’s industrial parks. Planning is underway for the future development of Vantage Park, GHDC’s newest property, Haeder said. Annexation and rezoning efforts are in progress. None of the property has been platted to date.
The corporation also owns several lots south of the Broadland Creek Golf Course, he said. One lot on the course was sold last year and one remains.
“There are a dozen lots off of the golf course that are available for housing development as well,” he said.
At Southtown, initial plats have been prepared for more than 60 lots for single-family and multi-family housing development.
Down payment assistance is available to initial occupants of newly developed single-family homes.
A housing developer has plans to develop a model twin home and a model single-family home in Southtown this summer. Other developers are considering the addition for future construction ventures.
Haeder said a twin home developed by GHDC has been sold. The west half was sold last November and the east half was sold this month.
Also, additional street development will occur in 2020, he said.
GHDC has assisted in conducting surveys of employees of businesses to determine their perception of them. Responses are anonymous and will be compiled into a report that provides employers with honest feedback.
Earlier this year, Gov. Kristi Noem presented Mayor Paul Aylward with the 2018 Community of the Year Award.
Meanwhile, sitting as the board of adjustment, the commission considered variance requests filed by GHDC for lots in the Southtown Addition. However, after discussion, the decision was made to table any action for further information and review.
Proposed changes would allow for 20-foot front and rear yard setbacks where code requires 25- to 30-foot setbacks, 90-foot lot frontages where code requires a minimum of 100 feet and two-family homes where code only allows a single-family home.
Commissioners also:
• Hired George Hite to fill a police officer position and accepted the resignation of police officer Jacob Westover.
• Approved a petition filed by Lauren and Lisa Miner to vacate the dedicated street right of way that runs north-south in the center of Block 3, Prairie Estates Addition that is 60 feet wide east-west and 600 feet long north-south in an area zoned large lot residential district.
• Approved alcoholic beverage consumption in a public area requests from Jason Bechtold for a picnic on July 27 at Prospect Park north shelter and Eric Bazyn for a picnic on Thursday at Ravine Lake southwest shelter.
• Appointed Planning Director Barry Cranston to the Green Energy Task Force.


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