Salem’s economic development has other communities, state agencies taking notice PDF Print E-mail

The City of Salem invited memebers of the media and local business owners to go over what has become an extensive list of projects on Thursday, Nov. 13.

The projects are either currently being done, in the process of getting started or will becoming in the near future.

Greg Fitzloff, the city’s Economic Director, even mentioned one that will be announced in the coming weeks.

“This is not a maybe, or if things fall into place,” he said. “This company has bought the property and has committed and we are just waiting for them to make the announcement.”

The city is celebrating momentum gained with economic development even to the point that officials at the state level have taken notice.

“We’ve been told by several people at the state level that no community this size has the economic development momentum that we have,” Fitzloff said.

The projects include the latest announcement that Kimball International will move it’s medal fabrication operation from out west to Salem.

The move will bring an investment of $9 million to the community and will also generate more than 100 jobs.

The other big one is the coming of Walmart.

Fitzloff said there are things being done at the site every day and dismissed claims that the super store is not coming.

“Walmart is coming, there are things being done on a daily basis out there and I expect late next year we will have a supercenter up and going,” Fitzloff said.

Other large projects currently underway include the new airport.

Also currently underway is a new John Jones Dealership, Eddie Gilstrap Motors built a new building, Dominos Pizza and a few others.

Salem Mayor David Bower credited local leaders for the Economic Development.

He said he along with the help of the city council decided to make a change in the way they handled pursing economic development opportunities.

One of those was to stop helping to fund the Washington County Economic Growth Partnership and hire the city’s own Economic Development director.

Fitzloff was hired in January of 2013 and has put together an impressive list of accomplishments in a short amount of time.

“I think 2014 was a great year and 2015 is going to be a very good year in the way of economic development,” Fitzloff said.