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Answering questions about economic development in Springville

Mar 02, 2017 01:48AM
By Craig Conover

Springville City Council It seems that a little information about growth and development in Springville, how it happens and what role the city plays would be a good thing for everyone to understand. Getting businesses to locate here is hard and takes many hours on the part of city staff and the mayor and council where we have to balance a very thin line of what makes the most sense when putting together an incentive package from the city for the business. If we give away all of the sales tax for a certain period of time, is it worth it to the community as a whole? If we help with infrastructure as an incentive, is that worth it for the community, and how much should all this equate to? How much should we offer at the expense of existing business? There are many questions and there is not always a very definite answer. For example, we have submitted the names of more than 50 different businesses we would like to see locate on the pad sites in front of Smith's. They are doing their best to find businesses to locate there, but without the Smith's actually open it is a much harder sale. As far as what kind of business locates in a commercial zone, it really is not up to the city; we have to create a zone and cannot exclude certain uses in those zones or it becomes spot zoning, which is against state law. So, if someone comes with a business idea that they want to build and they fit inside the zoning box, we as a city cannot stop them just because there is already another business like them in the city. Over the past couple of years, we have added some great new business here in Springville - maybe not the places to eat and national chains that many would like, but our sales tax number continue to stay strong and even grow somewhat. A few that have come or will be open soon are Standard Plumbing and True Value Hardware, Smith's Marketplace, a Mitsubishi car dealership, Tracker Boats, Zions Bank and Jimmy Johns, and those are ones that have built buildings. There are others that have located in existing buildings. We continue to promote our community and are seeking after business every day. Just in the past month, I personally have spoken with three different people about different business ideas they have and where they could locate. It all comes down to money and demographics - if there enough population to sustain their business model. The larger national chains have it down to a science when looking for a place to locate, knowing exactly what the demographics have to be to sustain their business model. I wish at times there was a magic box to get the exact businesses everyone wants and make it so they would locate here. The best thing that citizens can do is go to those companies' websites and make requests for them to come here. If they see enough from a certain spot, it may help in their decision as to where to locate.