Development site a plus for the future of Imperial
By Russ Pankonin, The Imperial Republican Co-Publisher
With the City of Imperial purchasing 67 acres on the east edge of town, Imperial can now make a legitimate case that it’s ready to embrace further economic development.
Through the use of revenue generated by the city sales, the city was able to purchase the ground to make way for further development here.
From time to time, Economic Development Coordinator Leslie Carlholm gets inquiries from companies looking at development sites. Prior to now, Imperial had nothing to offer because the city had no control over any significant piece of ground.
Now, when people or companies come calling, we can at least get into the game.
Will such development happen overnight? Heavens, no!
This type of project represents a long-term investment in our community, say 15-20 years. Sometimes a community gets lucky and strikes gold right away.
While that would be nice, Imperial’s certainly not taking that approach. Economic development is a process that continues all the time, in good economies and bad.
Another important factor in the purchase comes in the fact that no property taxes were or will be used in the future to pay for the property.
Imperial voters displayed great vision when they approved the city sales tax with half of the proceeds going to fund economic development efforts.
We never had any way to fund local economic development activities prior to the sales tax. In terms of the future, that’s big.
Without any funding, we were falling behind other communities our size and smaller who were investing in their futures by generating economic development funds.
The purchase of this property will ultimately pay dividends for the community and is another step in the right direction for insuring the future of Imperial.