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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

2010 EDIES Story 23 of 24: Partnerships hidden in plain sight produce high voltage marketing campaign

The Gladbrook City Council and the community school district have a strong track record of combining financial and leadership resources to facilitate remarkable outcomes for a town under 1,000. In 2010 they teamed up again to erect an electronic roadside sign to promote community gatherings and a community video to let families know that they are welcome to move to Gladbrook and be a part of this community. Mike Bearden, Mandy Gehring, and Mayor Keith Sash explain.  Remind me – what are the EDIES.

HOW WE DID IT: The project moved forward because of local support from both the City of Gladbrook and the Gladbrook Reinbeck School Board, along with community members and organizations who saw a vision to improve and promote Gladbrook, Iowa. 

HOW WE GOT THE IDEA: With the decline in school enrollment we realized that we needed to do something to attract people to our communities.  The Vision Gladbrook organization was looking to find something easier and more eye appealing to display our community events on as well as promote living in our community. Two separate ideas were developed to meet our objectives. The City had the first idea for a digital sign that could not only display community events, but school events as well.  The School had the second idea to create a promotional video for each town to highlight living opportunities to attract new families. The video could be seen on school and city web sites and could be handed out at home shows and local events. 

OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE: The greatest challenge for both projects was finding the funding to support the projects and for the sign finding a location that was acceptable to the Iowa DOT.

HOW WE OVERCAME IT: Luckily we have a supportive Gladbrook Reinbeck School Board and a progressive Mayor and City Council in Gladbrook.  Both groups saw the need and possibilities that both projects would create and fulfill.  Along with supportive groups and individuals in the Gladbrook community we were able to get the additional funds needed to construct the sign. We also found a very willing partner for the location of the sign on Highway 96. 

ADVICE TO OTHERS: Develop good working relationships as everyone needs to be able to get on the same page and have the willingness to work together for the betterment of their communities.

WHAT IS NEXT: We are looking at possibly improving City Park with added equipment.  For more information click www.gladbrookiowa.com.

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