Winter Update from Clearwater County Economic Development
As tulips peek out of the ground and robins show up in our yards we tend to get hopeful that spring is right around the bend, then March rolls in and winter weather returns. Even if for only a few days March reminds us that winter’s not over yet (and skiers rejoice). The cold-wet winter months made things tough for the crew working on the Orofino Business’ Center expansion, but they came through and completed the project on time. SJX Jet Boats, Inc expansion is underway with the addition of new tools and machinery they weren’t able to fit in the existing space. We look forward to celebrating every new job created by this project.
Additional Business Retention-Expansion work had us searching for expansion space for manufacturer’s who have outgrown start-up spaces; researching processes to support ongoing business investment and brining tools to the table to help others who are looking to expand.
The Clearwater County Economic Development team worked with the Off Road Motor Vehicle groups and County Commissioners to submit a Recreational Trails Program grant to clear trail loops close to towns; as a strategy to increase day trips around Orofino, Pierce and through the forest trail in between. We worked with the Cities of Weippe and Elk River and submitted foundations grant applications to support community projects. In Orofino, we continue to support the High 5 project; in January we helped the City apply for Transportation Alternative Program funds for US 12 sidewalk improvements and a Safe Routes to Schools program.
The Orofino Skate Park features are being manufactured and will be ready to ship/install once the pad is ready spring/summer.
The economic development team continues to work on filling vacant commercial properties. We responded to two leads from Idaho Commerce Department; spoke with manufacturers from Squim, WA and Sacramento, CA who are looking into our community. Our lifestyle is bringing folks in and our realtor partners are helping connect possible businesses to our office so we can bring to light the business advantages Idaho offers. It's partnerships like this that continue to bolster what we can do to continue economic diversification and smart growth for Clearwater County. Have a project idea, contact Chris at 208-476-9829 or firstname.lastname@example.org