YORK – The York County Commissioners heard from a number of different outside agencies and organizations, when they met in regular session this week, regarding their budget requests for the next fiscal year. One of those agencies was the York County Development Corporation.
YCDC Director Lisa Hurley told the commissioners the organization would be asking for the same allocation as last year, which was $82,000.
She told the board the organization is “making headway on our 2021 five-year strategic plan, which centers around business, talent, housing, organizational improvements and infrastructure development support.”
In her annual report, she spoke about the November launch of Size Up/York County, which is an online tool to help local aspiring entrepreneurs.
“Business development continues to be active,” Hurley said. “We were very excited to announced Preferred Popcorn, now Preferred Snacks, choosing York County after working with the owners of the Waco industrial building for several years on updating the facility and marketing. We continue to work with several businesses on potential expansions and locations. We were excited to see the opening of McLean Beef in September after a few years of working with them.”
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Hurley said that in 2021, the organization worked with over 14 industrial projects – both expansion and recruitment. She said this figure did not county the work they have done with small businesses.
And she noted they have already worked with 21 projects in 2022 – again not counting the small business projects they are assisting with.
“This does show an increase in business activity as they are interested in expanding or locating to this area,” Hurley said.
She also discussed the growing need for more daycare in the county, which has been something YCDC has been engaged with for several years.
“This year, the Nebraska Children’s and Family’s Foundation provided an updated gap number of over 350 positions (children who need daycare now) in York County. This is something we are working on with the York County Childcare Alliance, the business community and some state partners. Hopefully, over the next year, we will make headway on addressing this barrier.”
Commissioner Bill Bamesberger noted that community bond projects – like the one that will be happening in Henderson, as they will be building a childcare center on to the school – will help the situation.
Hurley noted the financial issues that limit the number of privately owned daycares – such as government regulations, inflationary costs that are higher than revenues, staffing, etc.
“Housing remains a priority with a need for an additional 542 housing units by 2030,” she said. “We are looking at applying for the next round of Rural Workforce Housing Funds. I appreciate the county’s partnership as we have worked through these challenges.”
And she said YCDC “continues to be aggressive with our talent initiatives and in October we started an out-of-state marketing campaign. This is an online campaign that follows the York News-Times articles that are being opened out-of-state to our WhyYorkCounty.com talent page. We have to bring people in to York County, for business growth and successions that will be happening in coming years.
“We appreciate the county’s continued investment in quality economic growth in York County,” Hurley said further. “By partnering together, we are seeing positive long-term progress throughout the county. It’s been a fun year – challenging, but positive overall.”
The commissioners thanked Hurley for the report and said the budget request would be considered during the regular budget process as it continues through the summer.