Dighton, Kansas



Economic Development Director - Vacant
Board Member - Dennis Burgess
Board Member - John Levin
Board Member - Ben Cramer
Board Member - Tammy Mann
Board Member - Dan Moomaw

145 S Lane

Dighton, KS

City of Dighton & Lane County Economic Development, Inc is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit economic development corporation charged with the responsibility of formulating, then implementing, a diversified economic and community development program for the City of Dighton, Lane County, and the surrounding area.

Business Development Incentives and Resources

Utility Credit Program: This program seeks to reduce out-of-pocket cash costs associated with the consumption of utility services. Tier-1 qualifications allow for a credit of $1,000 with one full-time employee; Tier-2 qualifications allow for a credit of $3,000 with three employees, and; Tier-3 qualifications allow for a credit of $6,000 for five employees. Storefront

Beautification Program: This program acts as an inducement to promote revitalization of the downtown and other shopping areas, providing a financial incentive to stimulate reinvestment into existing business property. Formatted as a 1:1 matching funds program, Eco Devo will award a maximum of $1,000 per application, after completion of the submitted improvement plan.

The $1.00 Homestead Ownership Plan: This program has been formulated as a means of stimulating new development or redevelopment of under-utilized properties within Lane County.

Efforts are to assist with the placement of open lots or parcels, abandoned properties, and delinquent-tax properties into the possession of those willing to complete property improvements as set forth by stated eligibility criteria.

Property will be sold on a “forgivable purchase price” basis. Meaning that upon satisfactory completion of all eligibility criteria the stated purchase price will be forgiven with $1.00 being due to complete consummation of the sales transaction.

Business and Commercialization Incubator: This program provides an incentive for encouraging new business startups within the community, promoting the development of entrepreneurial companies through a collection of interrelated tools; including access to facilities, financial incentives, and support services. Program timelines are typically three to five years.

Property Inventory for Retail, Commercial, and Industrial Park sites: Several business property sites available within Dighton city limits are available for sale or long-term lease, contingent upon performance criteria related to renovation or new construction.

Industrial park sites will soon be available in a minimum two acre size, or increments thereof. Occupation will be via purchase or long-term leasing with performance standards.

Neighborhood Revitalization Plan – Property Tax Rebates: This program was designed to provide financial incentives via “property tax rebates,” to simulate investment for new development or redevelopment related to residential, historical, or business properties.

This works by directly rebating back to the property owner, a portion of paid property taxes. The amount of property tax rebate is based upon the increase in County appraisal and valuation, as would be directly attributed to property improvements. Levels of tax liability prior to improvements are still due and payable.

For residential, a maximum rebate of 75% for each of 10 years is available for each of 10 consecutive years on new construction, with 55% for each of 8 years being available for redevelopment.

For business, a maximum rebate of 85% for each of 10 years is available for each of 10 consecutive years on new construction, with 65% for each of 8 years being available for redevelopment.

Property Tax Abatement or Exemption Policy: This provides for up to a 100% property tax exemption for up to 10 years for qualifying business types, regarding new development or redevelopment. This is contingent upon the adoption of a specific program package as requested by a business development applicant.

Industrial Revenue Bond Policy for Economic Development Purposes: This provides a financing option for up to 100% of the cost for a business development project, inclusive of land, buildings, and equipment or likewise for costs associated with remodeling or expansion. Property tax abatements are included in this program for up to 10 years. Bond terms are usually for a maximum of 15 years, with the business development entity being required to make scheduled payments for bond retirement. Other benefits may also apply, as qualified.

Referrals for Loan Packaging and Technical Assistance: Eco Devo personnel have an extensive history of networking with peers and other resource providers. Guidance will be provided for personal introductions or referrals to key staff associated with a multitude of federal or state agencies, and private sector organizations.

City of Dighton & Lane Co Econ Dev • PO Box 575 / 145 South Lane • Dighton, KS 67839 Phone: 620-397-5553 • Fax: 620-397-5608 • E-mail: dightonlaneecodevo@st-tel.net

COMMETARY HIGHLIGHTS: “Lane County Initiative for Commercialization in the Biosciences”
Located in west-central Kansas, Lane County is a rural agricultural community approximately: 355 miles west of Kansas City, Kansas; 318 miles east of Denver, Colorado; 445 miles southwest of Omaha, Nebraska; and 372 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The dominate contributor to the local economic base has been production agriculture – including grain and hay, plus stocker beef conditioning and fattening. Another noteworthy contributor is oil and gas production. Both of these fields are extractive in nature and include numerous associated trades and services.

Other contributors to the economic base includes two light manufacturing firms, the first of which produces an on-site sharpening devise for farm implement discs plus a special application bearing and seal puller. The second firm installs living quarters into horse transport trailers.

The primary employers for the area include: grain elevators, beef feedlots; the regional rural electric cooperative and an associated electrical distribution service provider; primary/secondary education, plus hospital/clinic medical services.

Due to significant changes in both the regional and global business climate, Dighton/Lane County Economic Development has reached a consensus to actively seek commercial diversification. Expanding our economic base beyond agricultural and oil/gas production will provide a more balanced approach for cultivating commerce related opportunities.

In addition to focusing on traditional activities for business retention, development and recruitment, we are also looking for emerging prospects with a sustainable long-term future. Lane County Strategic Plan updates for 2007 have indicated “7 areas of opportunity” for having inherent potential.

Additional research into three of these; bioscience, renewable resources, and value-added agriculture – has yielded additional information indicating industries being redefined as a matter of technological advancements. Many ensuing market opportunities are thus based upon the creative adaptation of new knowledge.

Correspondingly, a means for achieving diversification is readily accessible. An immense opportunity lies in the fact that western Kansas is not only home to a highly productive agricultural complex that is equally diversified and dispersed, it is also a region dominated by an extensive array of other beneficial resources.

Through numerous discussions with industry and research personnel, plus asset mapping of our rural landscape, it has become clear that value-added agriculture, bioscience, and renewable resources do in fact have many common ties … one of which is an irrevocable link to our cultural and environmental heritage.

Therefore, the objective of this initiative shall be to advance the premise of fostering a marriage of high technology and bioscience to value-added agriculture, assisting with the transformation of renewable resources into consumer and industrial goods.

The opportunity this initiative will seek to capitalize on can be characterized as, “to further research efforts, transitioning utility into new product development that is viable for related commercialization, business development, and manufacturing.”

Strategies, to take advantage of the stated opportunity, will focus on the high functioning integration of multiple influences contributing to business success.

Under this initiative development activities will target businesses with a need or preference for locating in a rural area, in combination with a community’s ability to deliver solutions for related needs.