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This feature first appeared in the Fourth Quarter 2012 Issue of Lincoln County Magazine.  Subscribe today!

By Mike Baughman, Ph.D., CEcD

Through execution of an interlocal agreement between Lincoln County and the City of Caliente, the Lincoln County Regional Development Authority (LCRDA) was first established in 1993. In November of 1998, a revised interlocal agreement was adopted by the board of Lincoln County Commissioners and the Caliente City Council re-affirming the role of LCRDA as the primary entity responsible for economic development within Lincoln County and establishing the current organization of the nine-member Board of Directors in which four members are appointed by the Commission and four members by the Council. The ninth member of the Board is appointed by the other eight members.

Annually, the LCRDA Board of Directors select a Chairman and Vice Chairman. LCRDA employs a contract executive director. LCRDA does not maintain an office location or staff, other than the contract executive director. The Lincoln County Treasurer and Lincoln County Recorder/Auditor manage all of LCRDA’s monies, with the Board of Lincoln County Commissioners approving the processing of checks for all invoices submitted to LCRDA and approved by the LCRDA Board of Directors for payment. All LCRDA meetings are open to the public and noticed in accordance with the Nevada Open Meeting Law.

LCRDA prepares an annual report documenting Lincoln County and the City of Caliente progress in implementing the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy initially adopted for the area in October 1999. The Annual Report demonstrates that while the characteristics of the Lincoln County economy have not changed dramatically since 1999, investments in key infrastructure and pending public land decisions posit significant opportunities for employment and income growth in the County and City. The economic development strategy adopted in 1998 remains largely appropriate today.

LCRDA has spearheaded land acquisition and development of the Meadow Valley (Caliente) and Alamo industrial parks. LCRDA has also designed and undertaken target industry analyses. Authority staff has assisted businesses in Lincoln County to attain SBA Hub Zone certification and to obtain contracts to provide goods and services to the federal government. LCRDA launched the Building Lincoln County Revolving Micro Loan Fund (BLCRMLF) in January 2011 and has to date approved 18 micro loans totaling $76,500.00. Initial funding to capitalize the BLCRMLF involved $25,000 of LCRDA local cash and a $25,000 USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) awarded to LCRDA. Subsequently, LCRDA agreed to re-commit first year loan repayments estimated at $17,500 for re-lending during FY 2012 and applied for and was awarded an additional $10,000 RBEG from USDA for a total of $27,500 available for lending during FY 2012. LCRDA provides all loan application review, loan document processing and loan servicing of BLCRMLF loans.

During the past five years, LCRDA has undertaken three targeted marketing campaigns involving the establishment of temporary websites; email blasts and direct-mail to 2,500 to 3,000 targeted industries and related prospect qualification and fulfillment of information requests by prospects. Two of these campaigns have been focused at industries suitable for location in various Lincoln County industrial sites/parks and one campaign focused on solar and wind energy generation concerns. These marketing initiatives have resulted in approximately 60 industrial leads, some of which LCRDA remains in contact with. A fourth targeted marketing campaign focused on 2,600 small manufacturing and certain service-oriented firms currently located in California is set to launch within late October 2012. These firms will be encouraged to consider Lincoln County industrial sites including the Meadow Valley Industrial Park (Caliente); Alamo Industrial Park; Lincoln Business Center (Rachel) and Coyote Springs.

LCRDA is currently working with several firms considering location in or expansion to Lincoln County including one proposing to develop an up to 1,100 megawatt natural gas fired power plant; a bio-refinery proposing to produce jet fuel from pinyon-juniper biomass; a swine production/processing facility; and an ethanol distillation facility.

For Additional Information Contact:

Mike Baughman, Ph.D., CEcD
(775) 315-2544 (c)

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