The DCOH has been busy working for Haskell. We are excited about projects on the horizon, but we want to stop and celebrate for just a moment.
We have shared before that the overall sales tax for the community is up 33% over last year. That may not seem like much, but if you compare that to other communities in our region, you will see that we are the only ones with growing numbers. Even Abilene is down 8% for their year-to-date numbers. (See here for more details here.)
How does a small, rural community account for a 33% growth in sales tax? The DCOH can’t take all the credit, but one can certainly draw the conclusion that having an experienced employee and a dedicated group of board members working on this unwaveringly has paid off. Haskell is steadily growing and has done an excellent job diversifying its industries. Haskell is no longer just oil, gas, and agriculture, but has grown its energy sectors to include wind and solar along with manufacturing.
The DCOH has made huge investments into the community over the years. Here are some of the ways the DCOH makes it happen:
- The DCOH promotes Haskell externally, creating top-of-mind awareness to companies looking to locate and expand.
- The DCOH works internally helping local businesses grow and expand, granting dollars for primary job creation. Primary jobs bring people to Haskell as well as create dollars that turn over 3-4 times in the community.
- Did you know to date the DCOH has invested $75,000 in the storefront beautification program and helped 44 businesses? This program helps local businesses with paint, signage, windows, doors and more. No one wants to see downtown deteriorate and the DCOH continues to make sure that happens.
- The DCOH is invested in building new leadership through its Knox-Haskell Rural Leadership program. They equip people to serve the community and make them aware of what all goes into keeping a small community alive and thriving.
- The DCOH has donated money and worked to secure grants to expand equipment at the Rochester VoTech Center, further securing a workforce for the future.
- The DCOH has invested in cloud seeding for many years to help keep the agriculture community strong.
- They have worked to position Haskell as a mini-hub for the surrounding towns, which further drives traffic to retail establishments.
- The DCOH has regular interaction with the State Senator and Representative to support rural efforts. They also work with Congressmen when changes are needed on a federal level.
- The DCOH helped to build the prison many years ago in a partnership with the city and county, and last year worked hard to get it reopened after it was closed for one year. This took many man hours, phone calls and traveling, but we got it done!
- The DCOH has won state and regional awards, helping to put Haskell on the map.
- The DCOH Executive Director also works with various non-profit groups in Haskell to find ways to keep them strong and vibrant. These groups provide a framework of services for Haskell that lend to the quality of life that all citizens enjoy.
- And the list goes on…
Other towns around Haskell are noticing the growth and are trying to figure out how it is happening. Haskell has always been ahead of the curve. This organization is valued and has been looking out for the best interest of Haskell and the business community for the past 23 years.