Editorial

Editorial by the Plain Talk What do Tiger Woods and local economic development planners have in common?

For starters, they are both winners.

Anyone who has ever picked up a golf club knows just how difficult the sport can be.

Tiger, until his recent slump, made winning look easy.

Don�t be fooled. Winning a major PGA championship is very, very difficult.

It takes talent, perseverance, patience, and long hours of work with no guarantee of success.

The same holds true with industrial development in Vermillion.

Lisa Ketcham, executive director of the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce/Development Company, her staff and the VCC/VDC board members, have put in more hours than we�d care to count in recent months. So has City Manager Jim Patrick, the Vermillion City Council and other leaders in the Vermillion community.

Their goal, naturally, has been to lure new business and new industry to the community.

Other larger communities in the region make that look so easy. Usually there is a news story every month of Sioux Falls or Yankton or Mitchell or Watertown being successful in their attempts to expand their economic base.

Competing with these larger communities is a lot like trying to outscore Tiger Woods on the links. There are few professional golfers who have shown such a remarkable tendency to win in recent years as him.

Vermillion is showing it has what it takes to play with the �long drivers.�

Sometimes that means pulling out the biggest, oversized club in your bag � in the form of assistance from the state.

Two weeks ago, it was announced that Masaba Inc., a manufacturer of mining equipment, is relocating its operation from Akron, IA to Vermillion. The move will create up to 50 jobs here.

The company plans to construct a 70,000 square foot facility in the Vermillion Industrial Park.

South Dakota has been working closely with the company to help put together needed financing.

The state has proposed a comprehensive package and will continue to work with the company to meet its needs.

�The state and the city of Vermillion are putting together a financial package for this company that will help it get its South Dakota operation up and running as quickly as possible,� Jim Hagen, secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development, said.

Convincing an industry from Iowa to relocate to South Dakota is no easy task.

Iowa is pulling out the stops right now to help that state enhance its economy.

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and the Legislature stamped approval on a package of business incentives that included pouring $100 million into an effort to lure high-tech businesses to the state.

Vilsack quickly signed it into law this week. The plan appears to secure $5 million previously promised to Integrated DNA Technologies in Coralville, IA for an expansion promising 200 jobs, and a reduced $4 million award anticipated for the University of Iowa.

For UI, the money means planning can resume for a $3 million upgrade to its Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing Center on the Oakdale campus, enabling clinic trials by making its output fit for human consumption. UI also wants to develop a biotech center.

Funding for that has been reduced from $7 million to $4 million. To build, UI must borrow $3 million.

When the center is completed, it will serve as an incubator for new companies.

It will, in other words, be another competitor, in the grand scheme of things, as Vermillion keeps to the task of trying to attract new businesses, too.

We can imagine that there have been countless times when an agreement to bring a new business to Vermillion has come oh-so-close to being successful only to fail when a better offer comes from a state or community with more funding, land, or infrastructure.

Two weeks ago, things were different.

Two weeks ago, Vermillion experienced success.

We welcome Masaba to Vermillion. We can�t wait to let you know just how special your new home is.

We also congratulate Ketcham, Patrick, Hagen and other officials for boosting our community�s economy.

The Vermillion Plain Talk editorials reflect the opinion of Plain Talk editor David Lias. You may contact him at david.lias@plaintalk.net

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