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Ports-to-Plains Alliance

Entries in Economic Development (13)

Wednesday
Jun072017

Trump to Outline Infrastructure Plan That Includes Rural Funding

Bloomberg Politics

 June 7, 2017

U.S.President Donald Trump will outline his vision on Wednesday for an infrastructure plan that includes federal grants to rural areas as well as to states and localities to create additional funding for projects, according to a preview of the speech provided by the White House.

Trump is scheduled to speak in Cincinnati as part of what the White House has billed as a week-long effort to formally launch the initiative to deliver the $1 trillion in infrastructure investment he has promised to upgrade crumbling roads, bridges, airports and other assets.

The president proposes allocating $200 billion in federal funding over 10 years to spur at least an additional $800 billion in spending by states, municipalities and the private sector. The federal funds will be divided into four categories:

* A mixture of grants and loans to “transformative’’ projects, with Trump’s proposal to place the U.S. air-traffic control system under a private, non-profit corporation as an example.

* Grants to rural areas to repair bridges, roads, and waterways. Critics of Trump’s approach have raised concerns that rural areas would not be able to use tolls or fees needed to attract private investment.

* Enhanced loan programs, with the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, or TIFIA, as an example of how federal funds can be used with state, local, and private dollars to fund projects.

* Incentive programs with grants to states and municipalities to create additional funding for infrastructure.

Monday
May152017

Signs of oil boomlet in North Dakota after pipeline finished

Calgary Herald

May 15, 2017 

 BISMARCK, N.D. — There are hundreds more jobs than takers in the heart of North Dakota's oil patch. Finding a hotel room, parking space or table at a restaurant is no longer easy.

More than two years after the state's unprecedented oil bonanza fizzled to a lull, North Dakota — the nation's No. 2 oil producer behind Texas — is experiencing a sort of boomlet that has pushed daily production back above 1 million barrels daily.

"There is a long-term optimism that was not here just a year ago," said Williston Republican Sen. Brad Bekkedahl, whose western North Dakota district is in the epicenter of the state's oil-producing region.

Industry officials and others say the uptick comes from a bump in crude prices, regulatory certainty with the more drill-friendly Trump administration, better technology, and the prospect of nearly half of the state's crude coursing through the disputed Dakota Access Pipeline, which could open markets abroad where top prices are typically fetched.

Read on... 

*North Dakota State Senator Brad Bekkedahl is a member of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Board of Directors.

Wednesday
May102017

Global Supply Chains Explained … in One Graphic

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

May 10, 2017

Boeing Airplane that shows how different parts come from different places to make one plane
Global supply chains are complicated and critical, with many moving pieces.

The economic security of all businesses is on the line, and breaking down barriers and global borders unleashes the potential for increased competitiveness.

In an effort to simplify the importance of global supply chains, take a look at the graphic above.

Many pieces – from across the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia – with one grand result: a Boeing 787. Get the picture?

Read on...

Tuesday
May022017

Getting more out of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor

May 2, 2017

One of the exciting things about traveling the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor is seeing the economic development benefits of the increased number of travelers along the corridor.  Over the past couple of years, small towns have seen new hotels and truck stops… Dumas, TX; Stratford, TX; Boise City, OK; Eads, CO and Brush, CO have all seen this type of growth and there are others.

The question that is often asked is, what can we do to get even more economic benefit?  Our member, the Town of Limon, found one way to create a community vision designed to increase the economic benefit of its highway corridor as well as its quality of life.  Limon, a town with a population of under 2,000, rests at a highway hub where five major highways come together including the Ports-to-Plains Corridor and Interstate 70.  This small town, once bypassed by Interstate 70, has seen significant economic growth over the years including numerous truck stops, hotels, restaurants and convenience stores. Yet, the town continues to evaluate its potential and found that many of the travelers had no idea of the destinations available off the town’s highway interchanges. Despite reaching about 80,000 lodging nights a year, most visitors never explored the rest of the town to find out what was there.  Few recognized the cultural experience of the Limon Heritage Museum, the recreation opportunities offered by the Tamarack Golf Course, swimming pool, and fishing pond or the entertainment options of a historical movie theatre, bowling alley and local restaurants.

When Limon updated its Comprehensive Plan in 2014-15, it focused on economic development. The local citizens recognized the value of the transportation system including the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, but also recognized that they could still do better.  As a result multiple goals in the Comp Plan addressed the need to explore ways to provide the visitors a better understanding of what this small town had to offer, in the short and long term, and ways to encourage those travelers to #ExploreLimon. CLICK HERE to view or download the Comprehensive Plan.

These goals led the Town to apply on a national basis to host a Citizens’ Institute on Rural Designä (CIRD).  The CIRD program is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, USDA-Rural Development, Project for Public Spaces and Orton Family Foundation.  Limon was one of seven (7) communities across the nation to be selected from the 52 applications.  Following eight months of preparation, the CIRD workshop was held over a three-day period, February 27-March 1, 2017.  The Workshop included presentations focusing on wayfaring/signage and development of bicycle/pedestrian trails, but the majority of time was spent with community members creating visions for these two topics. The community was joined by National and State Resource Teams which brought significant expertise and energy to the small community. 

To see the final report, please CLICK HERE.  There are some great ideas included in the report for small community implementation.

For more information on CIRD, CLICK HERE.

As a result of the CIRD Workshop, the State Resource Team opened an even larger door to explore and implement not only the visions for wayfaring/signage and bicycle/pedestrian paths but many of the other projects included in the Comprehensive Plan.  The State Resource team has offered to host another project funders meeting to hear Limon’s “Grand Plan” and make commitment for funding a variety of long term community projects.  The transportation system continues to be a huge catalyst for accomplishing any of the goals and objectives defined during the planning process.  Without that transportation system, it is hard to picture Limon’s economy and quality of life.  That is one reason for Limon’s commitment to the Ports-to-Plains Alliance. 

Limon’s economic plans are not limited to increasing and improving the visitors’ numbers and experience.  You will see in the Comp Plan that the community is also supporting of efforts to recruit primary jobs.  During the same period Limon was granted the authority to operate a Foreign Trade Zone and continues to look to provide a base for manufacturing, assembly and distribution.

Rural communities need to find ways to create the vision of their community for the future.  Hanging on to the status quo is not vision.  If you have questions, please contact Joe Kiely, who serves Ports-to-Plains Alliance as its Vice President of Operations (719-740-2240 – joe.kiely@portstoplains.com)

Tuesday
Mar072017

More money for Loop 335 project

News Channel 10

March 7, 2017

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -

Mayor Paul HarpoleWhen it comes to the Loop project, Mayor Paul Harpole isn't hiding the fact there's a lot to be done. 

"We're talking about a 43 mile Loop that we must have to move traffic through this region, not just Amarillo," said Mayor Harpole. "So, it is critical to the growth of our city." 

It's going to take awhile but TxDOT just made it a bit easier. 

"We hoped, we begged, we pleaded, we prodded, we got it," said Harpole. 

The City of Amarillo recently received $65 Million in TxDOT money to extend the Loop. Mayor Harpole says without this money it would have taken another 30 years to expand Loop 335.

Read on...

Friday
Jan202017

City, county working to bring jobs to Plainview with new business park

KCBD News Channel 11

January 20, 2017

Mayor Wayne DunlapThe City of Plainview could soon be home to a new business park, a venture Hale County and the city are working on together.

One of the main goals for the project is to provide more jobs.

"Roughly three years ago, Cargill Corporation closed here in Plainview," said Wendell Dunlap, Mayor for the City of Plainview, "and that afternoon, we realized for the very first time that we were not prepared to bring in new businesses."

The closure took nearly 2,000 jobs with it.

"We've been very very fortunate," he said. "For about a year we felt it. But, we have moved on."

Mayor Dunlap tells us the city and Hale County are going into business together.

"It's a 50/50 partnership on purchasing the land and also, on the operation of the land," he explains.

With about 100 acres of land already purchased, including the old Jimmy Dean plant, the city is hoping to create more jobs for folks who live out here.

"What we want is try to bring in businesses that employ 30, 40, 50, 100 people- is what we're hoping for," Mayor Dunlap says.

The mayor tells us he hopes construction will begin by the end of the year.

Read on...

Friday
Dec202013

Mexico energy: High hopes for 'magnificent reform'

Ochoa said the Mexico Department of Energy estimates that foreign direct investment in the sector will rise by 50 percent by 2018, to $10 billion, and that 500,000 jobs will be created in the process.

Click here for complete article > CNBC

December 20, 2013

Susana Gonzalez | Bloomberg | Getty Images Pemex's La Muralla IV deep sea crude oil platform in the waters off Veracruz, Mexico.When Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signs a new oil reform into law Friday, it could mark a turning point for Latin America's second-largest economy, one of Mexico's leading energy officials told CNBC.

"It's a magnificent reform," Mexico's Energy Undersecretary Enrique Ochoa said in an exclusive interview. Along with many other energy experts, he thinks the law will lead to an increase in oil and gas production, as well as lower energy prices.

The law will change three articles of the nation's constitution, thereby allowing foreign investment and production-sharing agreements in Mexico for the first time in more than 70 years…

Wednesday
Nov202013

Toward a More Competitive Colorado report released: Annual benchmark study examines competitive factors related to economic growth

This report, released by Ports-to-Plains Alliance member Metro Denver EDC, is a wealth of data that allows comparisons with every state and with just a little work with each state and other countries.  It is a wealth of economic benchmarks.  Clearly worth your time to review.

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"The good news again is that Colorado continues to rank among the most economically competitive states in the United States in key measures such as job growth, innovation, and technology concentration," said Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver EDC.

Click here for complete release > Denver Metro Economic Development Corporation

November 18, 2013

The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) released on Nov. 18, 2013, the ninth edition of Toward a More Competitive Colorado (TMCC), an annual benchmark report of Colorado's strengths, challenges, and opportunities for future job growth and economic expansion.

First published in 2005, TMCC is the foremost effort to compare Colorado's competitive position against the other 49 states. The study is researched and developed by the Metro Denver EDC's Chief Economist, Patty Silverstein of Development Research Partners, and is presented in cooperation with Wells Fargo…

Executive Summary

Complete Report