County, Webster City to work with IDM on economic development efforts

Institute for Decision Making to facilitate action planning for unified vision throughout Hamilton County

The Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning voted to move forward with a proposal from the Institute for Decision Making for action planning services to work with the county and the City of Webster City to develop a unified vision for economic development efforts in the county.

“Over the past year or so, we’ve been seeking redirection for our county economic development. Over the past several months, the doors have opened between the City of Webster City and Hamilton County,” Supervisor Rick Young said. “And we’ve been working very well together.”

Young said the two entities have approached the Institute for Decision Making at the University of Northern Iowa

“They will seek input from us and they will seek input from every community in the county,” he said, adding, “Then they will give us some guidance on how to proceed and what direction we want to go with a new countywide economic development director.”

Young said the IDM would start with a 45-minute telephone conversation with a member of the board of supervisors, the Webster City Community Development director and any other appropriate stakeholders to outline needs and desired outcomes of the process. According to the proposal, IDM would also ask all development organizations and communities in the county to complete an online questionnaire which will outline each entities current economic development programming, priorities and challenges.

Secondly, IDM will facilitate a work session with the board of supervisors to review the input collected from within the county and from there clearly outline the supervisors’ vision for economic development in the county and priorities on which to focus.

A summit for all community and economic development organizations and communities in Hamilton County would then be held. The three to four hour summit would allow each group to provide an update of current efforts and priorities as well well as reviewing the results of the online questionnaire. IDM would lead the large group throug a process for reaching a shared understanding as to which organizations are or should be, responsible for leading various fields of activities.

IDM would also provide a summary of all input collected during the session, along with recommendations for the next steps for participating organizations. A follow up conference call three months after the summit, facilitated by IDM, would again gather representatives of all respective organizations to review programs and to troubleshoot issues that may arise.

Young said he expected timelines for the project would be set sometime next week.

The cost for action planning proposal is $4,777, which would be split between Hamilton County and the City of Webster City, Young said.

“Lindsay Henderson, the city’s vitality director, has been extremely helpful on this,” said Supervior Dan Campidilli. “She’s given us a lot of guidance on this.”

“This has been a longtime coming,” said Supervisor Doug Bailey.

“And it’s the right path,” Campidilli said.


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