A Growing Role
In January and February of 2011, the Story County Board of Supervisors started discussions regarding the development of an Economic Development Strategic Plan. Historically, Story County has participated in economic development solely in a financial role. The discussions that occurred in early 2011 elevated this role to becoming a participatory entity in economic development activities.
In January 2012, the Story County Board of Supervisors received what is known as the "CPAT" (Community Planning Assistance Team) Report. The Story County Community Planning Assistance Team recognizes that economic development and quality of life are woven together. Business location and expansion decisions are based on financial feasibility, but also on how appealing a community is for employees and executives. People and businesses are increasingly footloose and have a wide variety of options. 'Quality of life is often a major part of those decisions, including walk-able downtowns, urban amenities, cultural activities, safety, recreation, aesthetics, clean air and water, shared economic benefits, local food, agricultural preservation, education, and strong sense of place.' (Excerpted from the Report).
Story County's Economic Development Needs
Throughout the process of developing the strategic plan, the board recognized a growing number of needs. The identified needs include the following:
- A county economic development mission statement
- A framework for guiding other county sponsored activities that may affect the economic environment, but do not fall within the scope of the Board of Supervisors' responsibility.
- A plan that will guide the direction and focus of Story County's economic development program for the next three to five years focusing on the goals of:
- Job creation
- Job retention
- Assistance to economic development activities of the 15 communities in Story County
- Economic stability
- Expansion of the tax base
Urban Renewal Area (URA) Projects - TIF (Tax Increment Financing)
During the fall 2012, the Board of Supervisors approved a set of policies and procedures to define a Urban Renewal Area (TIF) program for Story County and bring greater structure and objectivity to the standard operating procedures for evaluating economic development projects.