Economic development - Bob Strawn

By Corene Brisendine

To what extent should the city link economic development incentives to specific wage levels, and what should those wage levels be?

I do not favor a living wage ordinance. Any economic development application should consider wages but not require a specific level. Low wage applications should be avoided.

What kinds of economic development are most important to the city?

Generally, ecodevo applications that reflect the core strengths of the city should be targeted, like those with direct ties to Kansas State University – NBAF, NISTAC and Civic Plus being good examples.  I would question those without direct ties or with questionable plans like fertilizer companies, call centers, distribution companies, and the auto industry.

Should the city use tax abatements to bring businesses to Manhattan?

Tax abatements are tools more worthy in my mind than outright grants. At least with tax abatements, the applicant has invested capital in the city.

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