By Michael Tidemann
The Estherville Area Chamber of Commerce heard a lot of great things about Estherville at its annual business meeting Tuesday night at the Estherville Golf Course.
Lyle Hevern, Estherville Industrial Development Corporation president, told chamber members at their annual business meeting Tuesday night at Estherville Golf Course of EIDC accomplishments over the past few years.
EDN?Photo by Mike Tidemann
Stephanie Neppl, chamber executive director, outlined projects over the past few months she's been chamber director, including a new Web site, an updated brochure, the annual Fourth of July flight breakfast, Sweet Corn Days and planning for the annual Chamber/EIDC banquet.
"We appreciate everyone that's helped us out," Neppl said of the help from membership.
Looking to the future, Neppl said one of her priorities is to try to sell Estherville as a destination - both to out-of-towners as well as to locals.
"We do have some great resources," said Neppl, adding that she wants Estherville to do what it can to attract people to live and work here.
Noting the new estherville.org website just launched a little over a month ago, Neppl said the entire membership is listed on the site. She said in just a month the community calendar on the website had over 1,000 hits. Neppl said she would like to offer a class to membership to show them how to use the site.
Neppl noted Holiday Lights coming up Nov. 29 which will include wagon rides, tuba players, carolers and other fun holiday events.
Lyle Hevern, Estherville Industrial Development Corporation president, noted EIDC accomplishments, including assisting StateLine Cooperative with its new Halfa feed mill now under construction, which Hevern said will be a boon to the area economy.
Hevern said a prospect that has been interested in the spec building in the industrial park for three years remains active and that the EIDC is in the initial stages of a comprehensive plan for creating more industrial space.
Hevern credited city and county elected officials for their assistance, saying they "have been amazing in their support of community development."
Hevern also acknowledged the assistance of Iowa Area Development Group, Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative and Iowa Lakes Community College for their help in industrial development efforts. He also credited the efforts of the Iowa Lakes Corridor in helping Estherville achieve success. "It was a good day for Estherville and Emmet County when we joined the Corridor," Hevern said.
Kathy Evert, Iowa Lakes Corridor executive director, outlined the Corridor's goals of more jobs, more businesses, more people and improved housing.
Evert said Corridor representatives had attended two trade shows recently, including a wind energy trade show in Germany. Another area where the Corridor would like to focus its efforts is in bringing more dairy industry to the area, something she said provided high economic development.
Evert also noted major expansions at Polaris Industries in Spirit Lake.
Evert introduced Kelly McCarty, regional director of the Northwest Iowa Small Business Development Center, which functions under the auspices of Iowa Lakes Community College.
McCarty outlined services the center provides, including free business counseling to startups and existing businesses.