January 31, 2005

Crapo, Kempthorne, Eda, Local Leaders Plan $3 Million Economic Development Announcement In Emmett

Boise - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne will join local, state and federal leaders in Emmett on February 19th for a major announcement involving federal, state, and local funding totaling nearly $3 million to assist Emmett and Gem County with economic development plans for a local industrial park and the creation of local jobs. Crapo has invited the Chief of Staff for the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Sandy Baruah of Washington, DC to attend the announcement at 2:30 p.m. on the steps of the Gem County Courthouse. The project began two years ago when Idaho Department of Commerce staff took a busload of Gem county officials to Jerome to learn how the Jerome Development Corporation developed a local business park. As a result, Gem County citizens created the Shadow Butte DevelopmentCorporation and with support from the Idaho Department of Commerce, developed a business management plan, a marketing plan and promotional brochures for its proposed business park.Crapo obtained final approval for a $2 million federal grant through the U.S. Economic Development Administration, providing federal money for the industrial park project. Crapo earlier teamed with EDA to bring $2.5 million to Nampa to assist in the opening of the Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho (HCCI), assisted with a $2 million EDA grant establishing the TEC Center business incubator at Boise State University last fall, and last year convinced EDA to retain a full-time representative based in Idaho to help ensure future funding for Idaho-based projects. â??EDA funds build the foundation on which we will see new ideas, new businesses and more new jobs for Idahoans,â?? Crapo said. Governor Dirk Kempthorne announced Gem County will receive $500,000 in Rural Idaho Initiative funds to develop the industrial park. The money will be used to provide water, sewer, streets, highway improvements, drainage, and utilities to the facility site. "Projects like this one in Gem County have been very successful in creating jobs -- that's why I've asked the Legislature to fully restore the Rural Initiativeâ??s funding," Kempthorne said. "This money will go a long way in helping Gem County draw new businesses to this industrial park." To date, Kempthorne has awarded more than $7 million in rural grants to support 20 business expansion projects, adding 500 jobs to the Idaho economy. The program is administered by the Idaho Department of Commerce.Acting Commerce Director Roger Madsen said eight companies have signed up aspotential tenants, including Pacific Stone, Terra West Construction, Freon Free Inc, STD Concrete, Computators and several others. "This is a great project for Gem County," said Madsen. "Job creation and business development are the primary goals of the Rural Idaho Initiative. Collectively, the 35 jobs this project creates pay an average hourly wage of $10-$12 per hour plus benefits."Further details on the amount of the grants and the project will be available at the news conference.Crapo. Kempthorne, EDA, State & Local officials announce major grant for economic development:Thursday, February 19th2:30 p.m.Gem County Courthouse steps, 415 E. MainEmmett# # #