Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 6, 2009 Council Meeting

Well, not much happened at the last meeting. Jessie White wrote it up at his blog here http://buhlcouncilorjessewhite.blogspot.com/2009/01/jan-6-2009-city-council-meeting.html

The thing at the meeting that was not just bills and housekeeping was the snowblower for the rec department. Early in the meeting Gene P. spoke about the current snowblower that the rec department has for the hockey rinks. That snowblower was broken (not the first time), and Gene told us that the sewer plant had an extra one that the rec department could use while the regular snowblower was fixed. In the end , we voted to buy a new snowblower from Sears, a 33 inch Craftsman Professional for $1799.99. A lot of money spent at a time when we are trying to cut back.

Initially, I was not going to vote for a new blower. The more that I thought about it, and the more Jill from the rec department talked about the old blower, the more I changed my mind. My thought on this was the old "right tool for the right job". The old blower did not get the job done, and it takes a lot of man power to shovel out all that snow. Extra man power means extra people working at $7.00-$8.00/ hour. Two or three extra people 7-8 times a year and that turns into real money. Plus, the old snowblower just isn't made for cleaning that much snow. That was my thought process during the discussion. More staffing = more money in wages.

Besides the snowblower, the only other thing that I am really looking for input on is the Buhl Economic Development Agency (BEDA) that Jesse, Tom H. and myself were named to. I have been on BEDA for 4 years now, and I find it a difficult board to be on. Really, every person on the board tries hard, but we are all amateurs at economic development. The question is.... what is the best way to get some new businesses into Buhl? We have some land to sell, we have the South Industrial Park to fill up and the Whiteside Industrial Park too. We also have some commercial property in the City, but finding businesses to come to Buhl is not easy.

I thought that BEDA could offer financial incentives to people to find businesses that would come (and stay) in Buhl, sort of a "finder's fee". Say you were to find a business that would move to Buhl, that business came to BEDA and we were able to find them a building or building site, and the business stayed in Buhl for 1 year. Maybe BEDA could pay a finder's fee to the person that brought the business to BEDA. What, maybe $1000.00? It couldn't be a home business, and it would have to stay open in Buhl for some specified amount of time (no finder's fees to members of the City Council).

I could use some ideas here. What do you think?