WARRENSBURG — The Johnson County Economic Development Corp. is gearing up for a follow-up visit from Ady Advantage consultants who will help the agency develop a strategic plan to guide further economic development in Johnson County.
JCEDC Executive Director Tracy Brantner said two teams from the Madison, Wisconsin-based firm will conduct sessions on Feb. 14 and 15, one to do community training and the other to do employer interviews and research.
A kickoff meeting is scheduled for the morning of Feb. 14 and a roundup meeting the afternoon of Feb. 15.
The goal is to provide insight into what the agency’s next steps should be following the Dollar Tree decision to locate a distribution center in the Brady Commerce Park.
Ady conducted a community development assessment for Johnson County in August that helped spur improvement to the park that resulted in the Dollar Tree decision.
City Manager Harold Stewart said Ady Advantage President and CEO Janet Ady “pushed us to be more aggressive. If it had not been for Janet Ady, we probably would not have the Dollar Tree.”
Ady told the board it should look at “the next best highest use” for the remaining 120 acres in the park, and then look at longer term at sites, community assets and available resources to build a plan for 10 years into the future.
Brantner said the site visits “will feel like mock visits” from business prospects.
“We want to see if communities are ready for an opportunity, and, if not, what they need to work on,” she said.
Primary goals are to develop a project pipeline and plan for real estate; determine priorities for requests for information from prospects; and consider commercial development plans.
Target industries will be identified, as well as those that are not considered desirable, as well as key assets of the region, including site and labor availability.