MIDC Executive Director gives quarterly report to City Commission

By Brad Eilts
March 23, 2015

MIDC Executive Director Brad Eilts gave his quarterly report to the McPherson City Commission on Monday morning.

Eilts highlighted the last twelve months of work by MIDC. He said, "We have a great story to tell. It centers around a low-cost operating environment. Reliable, low-cost electricity, taxes, and other factors that make this a special place."

Hospira announced a five year expansion plan in May. Hospira has around 1,500 employees. This project creates 150 jobs and has a capital investment of $120 million in real and personal property.

Viega announced their expansion in October of a new metal fittings production line. The project will create 100 jobs in a newly constructed 80,000 sq ft building. Capital expenditure on this project is estimated at $48 million.

Mid-Kansas Cooperative, in partnership with CHS, recently completed a $38,000,000 grain storage and rail shuttling loading facility just outside Canton. The project creates at least 10 new jobs paying over $50,000 annually.

NCRA is officially now CHS. Their $1.2 billion investment continues to progress with a new Coker and plant capacity expansion.

PrairieLand Partners (John Deere) is building a new facility just off I-135. This is a 100,000 square foot facility housing a dealership, training facility, and administrative functions. Up to 15 new jobs will be created with an annual payroll of one million dollars. Prairieland Partners is making an estimated capital expenditure of around $10 million.

Invista will soon be extruding Raptor Nylon pipe for oil fields in McPherson, Part of Koch Industries, this is the first Invista production facility located in Kansas.

Other economic activity in process - Hampton Inn & Suites, Fairfield Inn, Love's Truck Stop, PACE Center, GraceMed Clinic, new businesses on Main Street, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle start-up, Emprise Bank, etc...

Two new housing complexes are beginning to be constructed. One is a market rate 64 unit complex and one is a 45 unit tax credit multi-family complex. Also, there are several single family houses being constructed and the City is working with developers for more.

We were recently accepted into the ACT WorkReady Communities program. Once we complete the Academy and fulfill the criteria, we will be certified in the program. It is a very good move to assist and coordinate our workforce development and activities, while working with and for our existing businesses.

At the end of this month, Eilts will be attending the first APPA/ Area Development Public Power Consultants Forum designed to discuss issues, strategies and best practices of public utility companies and to allow access to nationally recognized site selectors and industry leaders.

Our median wage increased again in 2014. We have one of the highest median wages in the state at $16.63 per hour, which is 17% higher than our region.