STURGIS 4/17/13 – Gov. Dennis Daugaard presented Sturgis with the Governor’s Community of the Year Award at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) annual conference in Sioux Falls on April 16. This special award recognizes leadership in the area of economic development. It also recognizes achievement, innovation and growth resulting from community efforts. All South Dakota communities with a population over 5,000 can vie for this “large community” award.
The award caps a year filled with thousands of hours of planning, hard work and innovative partnerships involving the Sturgis/Meade County community and state and federal agencies. Below is a recap of the development factors considered by the Governor’s office in making the award selection.
The City of Sturgis, Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce, SEDC and individual business owners pooled funds and hired FourFront Design to assist in forming a downtown revitalization framework. A 15-member volunteer taskforce of downtown business and property owners and community leaders met weekly from August-December to explore core issues and create a plan to correct them. Three public input meetings were held. The framework presented to City Council included creating a Business Improvement District (BID) and a Downtown Overlay District. Both passed unanimously. The new ordinances allow mixed-use residential, offer building setbacks to encourage year-round retail, require demolition permits to include a timeline to rebuild, require buildings to meet code, address signage, facades, etc. A 501(c)3 will direct BID fees to create a downtown plaza and focus on expanding Sturgis’ event and revenue capabilities. First Interstate Bank is partnering with the City to convert a section of their property for the plaza.
Meade County Approved/Expanded 5-year Property Tax Abatement
In 2010, the Meade County Commission adopted a new discretionary formula. It provides a total abatement of property tax for five years on new industrial/commercial improvements or renovation over $30,000. Nearly $8 million in county-wide tax assessments have been removed. This amounts to an approximate tax dollar savings of $200,000. The abatement was expanded in 2012 to include the construction of commercial residential structures with four or more units.
Aspen Grove Assisted Living Facility
The Sturgis Comprehensive Plan states the need for senior housing as, “The City should encourage the construction of both independent and assisted living residential development for seniors.” In September 2012, the $3.2 million Aspen Grove assisted living project held its groundbreaking ceremony. When completed in August, it will create 20 healthcare jobs. Based on a multiplier of 1.27, an additional 25 jobs will be created. The innovation in this project lies in its multi-agency funding consisting of nine partners. The City of Sturgis, Greater Sturgis Lifecare Foundation, and SEDC all donated land for the project valued at $270,000. The Meade County Commission established the Meade County Economic Development Fund and contributed $100,000 in revolving loan financing. The project qualified for the Meade County tax abatement. Financing was also secured through SD WORKS, Wells Fargo Bank, BHCED/SBA 504, West River Foundation, SEDC, and a personal donation from Dr. George Jenter.
$100,000 Meade County Economic Development Fund
The Meade County Commission established the Meade County Economic Development Fund with a $100,000 contribution for the Aspen Grove project. The principal, along with the interest and all future contributions, will revolve to fund future economic development projects.
Sturgis City Council Approved First Planned Unit Development
In 2012, the Sturgis City Council approved a new Planned Unit Development (PUD) ordinance. It then approved Sturgis’ first PUD. This development proposal was brought forward by a local businessman due in part to Meade County’s expanded tax abatement for residential commercial construction. The development offers 44 additional workforce housing options including single family units, townhouses, and 2-story apartments for sale or lease. Other housing initiatives involving the City, SEDC, and local contractors are in process that would add additional workforce housing units. These will equal the total number of housing starts in Sturgis in the past six years.
Meade School District 46-1 Surplus Land Sales
The Meade School District determined it had a surplus school building and surplus parcels of land. They negotiated two sales to the City of Sturgis. The City then sold the former Badger Clark school to Northern Hills Alcohol and Drug Services (NHADS). NHADS is now able to combine their clinical inpatient, outpatient counseling, and administrative services in one location at a substantial cost savings. Their 23 employees were operating out of three facilities (Sturgis, Black Hawk, and Spearfish). Without this expansion, their growth was stymied. With it, NHADS will be able to expand services and create at least two new full time jobs.
USDA RBEG Grant
SEDC received a $99,999 matching USDA RBEG grant to construct a 5,000 sq. ft., 4-unit incubator in the Sturgis Industrial Park. This will allow start-up businesses the ability to work in an industrial-grade facility without associated individual start-up construction costs.
Charitable Foundation Account
A 501(c)3 tax-deductible Future Sturgis fund was activated at the Black Hills Area Community Foundation (BHACF) to accept local contributions for community improvement projects. In 2012, BHACF disbursed $35,000 in private contributions for public projects.
Industrial Zoning Amendment
The Sturgis City Council approved an Industrial Zoning amendment that allows limited residential use-on-review. This was done to entice out-of-area companies by allowing owners/managers the ability to live and work on-premise during their relocation transition. Since adopted, two companies applied for, and received, the use-on-review.
Sturgis Industrial Park designated a “south dakota Certified Ready Site”
In 2012, legislation went into effect making developers eligible to apply for “SD Certified Ready Site” status. SEDC is a private, non-profit development group. SEDC completed the rigorous certification process for the 45-acre Sturgis Industrial Park. In January 2013, the Sturgis Industrial Park received its official “SD Certified Ready Site” designation. It is one of only four in South Dakota with this designation.
SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, & Outdoor Trades) Show BOOTH
For over 12 years, the Sturgis booth at the SHOT Show has been a staple for generating firearms-related leads. It is one reason why the Sturgis Industrial Park has been able to claim the largest firearms manufacturing cluster in SD. In 2012, six representatives of the City of Sturgis, Meade County, Black Hills Power and SEDC worked the Sturgis booth during the weeklong event gathering leads and reconnecting with prospects.
New Sturgis Industrial Park Businesses
Samson Exhaust motorcycle parts manufacturer is relocating from California and building a 45,000 sq. ft. facility in the Park. It will create 30 jobs when completed in May. Based on a multiplier of 2.14, an additional 64 jobs will be created.
Black Hills Manufacturing Services, Inc. start-up company organized in 2012 and located in the Park. The five partners will provide production, consulting, and metal treatment services not formerly available locally. Based on a multiplier of 2.14, an additional 10 jobs will be created.
Black Hills Grid is another start-up company that will be offering manufacturing services and production capacities in the Industrial Park in 2013.
King of the Mountain recently relocated to the Industrial Park from Colorado. For 30 years they have been the leader in woolen outdoor wear and are preparing to take their newly patented KarbonXtreme™ Technology to market.
Career Day On-Site Tours
The Meade School District, SEDC, and local businesses created an opportunity for 25+ Sturgis Brown High School students to tour five Sturgis Industrial Park manufacturing operations. Students applied to participate. The goal was to expose the students to local industry employment opportunities and encourage appropriate high school courses and post-secondary training.