Miami County commissioners sat down with city managers and administrators from across the county last week to find out how they could better support and foster their visions for the future.
Following the commission’s Nov. 25 work session, commissioners extended the invitation so they could better understand each community’s development goals as well as the struggles unique to each city. … Commissioners agreed they wanted to meet with Paola, Louisburg, Osawatomie and Spring Hill officials first because the odds were greater that any commercial or residential development would likely occur within city limits rather than the county.
Osawatomie City Manager Don Cawby … said the city’s economic philosophy involves handling what comes the city’s way, but find something that fits the community.
“We’re fishing. We’re not going hunting,” he said.
(Read more: Osawatomie Graphic – news)
Louisburg City Administrator Nathan Law told commissioners that it was a breath of fresh air when he arrived and found the county’s economic development department was already in place and working together with local community leaders. …
Law said he felt Louisburg suffered from a bit of an identity crisis.
“There are those who want to see a lot of development and reap the benefits from that development,” he said. “And there are those who believe Louisburg is what it is because that’s what we chose once upon a time. Louisburg is very much a bedroom community.”
(Read more: Louisburg Herald – news)
Paola City Manager Jay Wieland told commissioners that having a one-stop shop for economic development was invaluable to smaller towns.
“In the situation we’re all in, we’re smaller communities. We don’t have the resources,” Wieland said.
Paola’s economic development philosophy is simple, Wieland said, noting city officials focus on what they can do, and what they do best.
“We’re not going to get companies with 100 people, or 1,000 people or 5,000 people. We’re not going to do that,” he said. “We don’t have the ability to do that. Let’s focus on residential. Let’s focus on commercial. Let’s focus on small business, and let’s focus on business retention and try to help the businesses we have here to do things more efficiently so they can expand.”
(Read more: The Miami County Republic – news)