The Ansley Economic Development Corporation cut the ribbon Oct. 17 on their largest project to date: The restoration of the Hawk Building on the west side of Main Street. The former American Legion club now houses five fully functional, newly renovated offices.
“The concept of this project was for it to be a business incubator.” Said Jeremy Shiers, Chairman of the Economic Development Corporation. The goal is to entice business to come and operate in Ansley, Nebraska.
The renovations were made possible through local funding and grant programs that are geared toward economic development. Much of the funding was attained through such grants as the Rural Business Enterprise Grant through the USDA, and the JOBS Grant. The Gifford Foundation provided the design and Security State Bank of Ansley assisted with the financing. Coble Construction was tasked with the building and renovation.
“This project was locally built and locally funded,” noted Cy Thoene, a member of the Ansley Economic Develoment Corporation.
Not only did the funding and contractor come from Custer County, but the materials did too. The majority of the building supplies that were purchased for the project were purchased from Ansley Lumber. The goal was to keep as much of the money spent on the project as possible in Ansley and Custer County.
Lease money received from the office space will be used for future economic development projects in Ansley.
The members explained that the Economic Development Corporation started as a few concerned citizens that begin to meet in the basement of the bank. They began to brainstorm ideas on how stimulate economic growth in Ansley and research possible avenues to take to reach their goals. The Corporation attributes much of the success to the guidance of other area economic development boards.
In attendance at the ribbon cutting was Caleb Pollard, Executive Director for the Valley County Economic Board, who led a round table discussion on ways to continue to stimulate growth in Ansley. Among subjects discussed were Legislative Bill 840 (The Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act), tax increases, and grant funding for new and existing small businesses. He impressed upon people attending the meeting that through his experience he has learned that economic development is a lifelong endeavor.