The Vermillion Rotary Club met at noon on Tuesday, July 3, for its weekly meeting in the Freedom Forum on the USD campus. President-elect David Hussey presided and Dan Van Peursem led in opening prayer. In honor of our nations birthday, our opening songs were America, and It's a Grand Old Flag, led by David Hussey with Jack Noble providing accompaniment on the piano.
After opening announcements and the introduction of several guests, Sergeant at Arms Al Pravecek succeeded in fining several members, thus raising funds for the Rotary Foundation, including what we hope will be a substantial one for himself for riding a bicycle without a helmet in the presence of his grand-daughters.
Our program was provided by Mr. Bruce Odson, resident of Vermillion, who has been president of North Sioux City Development Corporation for the past nine years, and president of the Elk Point Development Corporation for the last three. Mr. Odson's program centered on what is going on in the way of financial development in North Sioux City and Elk Point, and with the "Gorilla" project planned for Union County over the next several years.
North Sioux City suffered real stress a few years ago with the severe financial woes of the Gateway Computer Corporation but through the combined efforts of its city government and the North Sioux City Development Corporation has been able to create 2,600 new jobs in North Sioux City. A number of new companies have moved into the city, and with the closing of the dog racing track its image has improved.
Southeast South Dakota is now rated by national magazines as one of the most desirable places to live and work in the United States. Elk Point has seen a major housing development in recent years and is looking forward to increasing its size. Vermillion is also poised to participate in an economic vitalization that will take place in our area in the near future whether the "Gorilla" project comes to South Dakota, or not.
Almost everyone now knows that the "Gorilla" project is designed to place a large oil refinery in Union County between state highways 50 and 48. Should this come to pass, for which Mr. Odson thinks there is a very good possibility, it will change the economic climate of this area tremendously.
The presence of USD and an excellent public school system make Vermillion an attractive living community for folks working in this area, especially as close as the projected oil refinery would be located to us. Mr. Odson is sure that the project will be "green," that is, that it will cause a very minimum of environmental impact. We thank him for a very interesting and timely program.
Our meeting was closed with the weekly 50-50 drawing and the singing of the first stanza of My Country 'Tis of Thee.