Click here to view this email in your browser.

 Presidential Post   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Who's Who   Events February 27, 2015


By Jason Hutcheson, PDI President

Jason Hutcheson
PDI President

Fuel Tax Signed Into Law

Isn't it great when something gets accomplished?

After years of expressing concern over funding for Iowa's roads and bridges, the Iowa Legislature and Governor Branstad finally took action and passed a 10 cent fuel tax increase in February. The increase goes into effect on March 1st, and your community and county should begin receiving more money for necessary infrastructure upgrades and maintenance with just a few months.

Much like commercial and industrial property tax reform, PDI, along with many other partners, worked diligently for many years in order for action to be taken. We were unsuccessful session after session, yet we continued having those tough conversations. Each year, our consistent messaging moved the needle forward.

The lesson: we can not give up on the tough issues.

The fuel tax was both an emotionally charged and politically heated conversation. Tensions have been high, and legislative leaders took unusual steps to ensure the fuel tax would receive enough votes. While passage was bipartisan, it was anything but unanimous.

I would suggest that PDI members have two obligations following the passage of the fuel tax:

  1. Look up your legislator's voting record on this bill (search the legislature's website for SF257). If your legislators voted for SF257, send them a personal thank you note. In addition, I would suggest sending hand written notes to Speaker Paulsen, Minority Leader Smith, Majority Leader Gronstal, Minority Leader Dix, and Governor Branstad. All have taken heat for this issue, and we have an obligation to thank them for their leadership.

  2. Work with your local elected leadership to understand the new revenue's impact on streets, roads and bridges in your community. Will the money be used to fill potholes, repave necessary corridors, reopen a bridge, or some combination of all of the above? While $200+ in new revenue will not be a windfall for local governments, it will be new revenue. The tax-paying public needs to understand the benefits of this tax increase. PDI members can assist by sharing that message.

Kudos to our lobbying team at Campbell/Patterson and the leaders of PDI's legislative committee. Your efforts have paid off.

Save The Date — PDI's Spring Event

Join PDI on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 1:00 — 7:30 pm (In conjunction with SMART Conference on May 7, 2015) at the Farm Bureau Auditorium, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, IA for PDI's Spring Event.

Registration Fee: $100 for members / Registration info

Draft Agenda:

1:00 - 1:30 Welcome/ PDI and Legislative Update...Jason Hutcheson and Craig Patterson
1:30 - 2:30 Professional Development Session — "Time Management — Balancing Work and Life" with Theresa Bornbach, Cedar Rapids, Metro Economic Alliance, Cedar Rapids, IA
2:45 - 3:45 Corporate Panel on perspective of Site Selection: Speakers: Stan Gibson, Wells Fargo Corporate Properties Group, West Des Moines, IA; Warren Wood, DuPont Pioneer; David Hemming, Precision Tank and Equipment (Humboldt, IA); and Mark Laurenzo, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines, IA, Moderator
3:45 - 4:45 Economic Developers...Best Practices: Speakers: Kelly Halsted, Greater Fort Dodge Alliance, Fort Dodge, IA; Chris McGowen, Siouxland Initiative, Sioux City, IA; Jeff Kolb, Butler County Development Corp, Allison, IA; and Michael Gould, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines, IA, Moderator
5:30 - 7:30 Reception (SMART VIP's invited)

Reception: Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

Registration Fee: $100 for members
Registration Information >>


 Gov. Branstad signs Senate File 257 into Law

Gov. Terry Branstad today signed the following bill into law:

Senate File 257: an Act relating to transportation funding by limiting the term of indebtedness for certain county projects, modifying certain permit fees, modifying the rate of the excise taxes on motor fuel and certain special fuel, establishing a fuel distribution percentage formula for certain special fuel used in motor vehicles, requiring legislative review of the fuel distribution percentage formulas, extending the repeal date of the Access Iowa Highway Plan, and including effective date provisions.

The bill passed the Iowa Senate 28-21 and Iowa House on February 24, 2015, 53-46.

 Manufacturing Moves Back to the U.S

The U.S. is expected to account for a larger share of production capacity for goods consumed in the U.S.


 Iowa Brownfield/Grayfield Redevelopment Tax Credit Program

The Iowa Economic Development Authority is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the Brownfield and Grayfield Redevelopment Tax Credit Program. Please note that all applications must be received at IEDA by 4:30pm March 16, 2015.

The current application can be found online in the Resources box near the bottom of the web page at

Notable changes to the program include:

  • applications will no longer be considered on a first come, first served basis.
  • complete applications will be scored with a maximum number of points of 25 each for feasibility, financial need and overall quality of a project. Projects that were previously registered with the program but did not receive an award will receive an additional 25 points.
  • tax credits can be refundable to certain qualifying non-profit organizations if it is established with the application.
  • moving forward, applications will be accepted annually beginning July 1 with a September 1 deadline.

Iowa Administrative Rules that guide the program can also be found online at:

Iowa Code regarding the program is contained in sections 15.291, 15.292, 15.293, 15.293A, 15.294, 15.295. Search and browse Iowa Code or Iowa Administrative rules online at:

Call Program Manager Matt Rasmussen: 515-725-3126 or email with questions.



 Governor, IPEP Release Findings of 2014 Battelle Report, a New Economic Development Roadmap for Iowa

After 18 months of work, countless meetings with subject-matter experts and Iowa stakeholders, and pages of data, statistics and indicators, the Battelle Report was released in late December 2014. Governor Terry Branstad joined representatives from the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress (IPEP) — the state's CEO-level, industry-led advisory board co-chaired by the Governor and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds — to release the findings of the 2014 Battelle Report: Iowa's Re-envisioned Economic Development Roadmap. The Battelle Technology Partnership Practice was commissioned by IPEP and the Iowa Business Council to conduct this comprehensive analysis.

More Information >>



 New Business Brings 15 Jobs to Hampton
By Laura Bird, Mason City Globe Gazette, February 11, 2015

A Texas company has opened an outlet in the Hampton Industrial Park, bringing about 15 jobs to the community.

Taskmaster Components of Mount Pleasant, Texas, moved into the former Winnebago Industries building around two months ago, said Karen Mitchell, director of the Franklin County Development Association.


 Le Mars Executive Wells Will Lead Iowa Business Council
By Bret Hayworth, Sioux City Journal, February 09, 2015

Michael Wells, who heads an ice cream company in Le Mars, has been selected as chairman of the Iowa Business Council.

Wells is president and CEO of Wells Enterprises Inc.


 Be The Boss - Jacobson Entrepreneur Camp June 15-19, 2015 - Des Moines

The Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship at The University of Iowa is offering a one-week day camp in Des Moines June 15 — June 19 from 8:30 AM — 3:00 PM at the Pappajohn Education Center in downtown Des Moines. Students who will be entering grades 7-9 in the fall are eligible to apply. Camp participants learn the basics of starting a business, hear from successful entrepreneurs, develop an innovative idea for a product, learn how to give a great elevator pitch and have fun!

The camp fee is $200 and includes lunch, snacks, materials, and a t-shirt. Participants may elect to drop their children off early (7:45 a.m.) and pick them up late (until 5:30 p.m.) for an additional fee of $50.

Applications are available online at

For more information, please contact Melissa Zapata at 319-335-2204 or email



 2015 Forty Under 40 Class Announced - Congratulations Brent Willett

The Business Record announced the 16th annual list of Forty Under 40 honorees.

These 40 local business leaders, who were chosen by past award winners, are under the age of 40 and have demonstrated impressive career achievements and unparalleled community involvement.

Together, they join 600 past Business Record Forty Under 40 honorees to bring the total number of honorees to 640 since the Business Record began the awards in 2000.

Read Brent Willet's Forty Under 40 Profile >>

 Did You Know?
Snippets from 2014 Member Survey...

30% of our members say the per capita expenditure by their organization is greater than $10.

 New Members

Laura E. Adams, Iowa Area Development Group, West Des Moines
Scott Drzycimski, Alliant Energy, Cedar Rapids
Emily Hockins, Midwest Partnership EDC, Stuart
Nicolas Hockenberry, Jackson County Economic Alliance, Maquoketa
Dar Raye Hunwardsen, Western Iowa Tech Community College, Sioux City
Jill Kramer, Hancock County Economic Development Corp, Garner
Mike Lukan, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Cedar Rapids
Alex Lynch, Eastern Polk Regional Development Inc., Altoona
Jeff Reiter, City of Bettendorf, Bettendorf

 Scholarship Recipient

Darla Kelchen, Clayton County Development Group - Heartland ED Course
Nicolas Hockenbery, Jackson County Donomic Alliance - Heartland ED Course
Jill Kramer, Hancock County Economic Development - Heartland ED Course

 Job Postings:

Executive Director, Decatur County Development Corporation, Decatur County
Development and Communications Specialist, City of Pleasant Hill, Pleasant Hill
Wright County Economic Development Director, Clarion, IA

More Information >>




 Mainstreet Iowa Application Workshop
Monday, March 23 / 1 - 5 p.m.
Cliff's Place
417 Main Street
Manning, Iowa
More Information & Registration >>

 Mainstreet Iowa Application Workshop
Wednesday, March 25 / 1 - 5 p.m.
Appanoose Rapids Brewing Company
332 East Main Street
Ottumwa, Iowa
More Information & Registration >>

 Mainstreet Iowa Application Workshop
Thursday, March 26 / 1 - 5 p.m.
Cedar Falls Public Library (2nd floor meeting room)
524 Main Street
Cedar Falls, Iowa
More Information & Registration >>

 Heartland Economic Development Course, Inc.
April 19-23, 2015
Adam's Pointe Conference Center, Blue Springs, MO
More Information & Registration >>
Scholarship Information >>

 PDI 2015 Spring Event
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
1:00-7:00 pm
Farm Bureau Headquarters, West Des Moines, IA

 SMART Conference
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center, Des Moines, IA
Embassy Suites Des Moines Downtown — Sleeping Rooms

 International Training on Importing, Filing an EEI, and Exporting
May 19 & 20, 2015
Iowa Farm Bureau Auditorium
West Des Moines, IA
More Information & Registration >>

 PDI's Fall Conference
September 23-25, 2015
Historic Park Inn, Holiday Inn Express
Mason City, IA

For more information, contact Lynn Harkin, PDI Headquarters at (515) 243-4585 or Email

Twitter      Facebook      LinkedIn

Published by WinM@il