01/31/11 The Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation (PIDCO) conducted their annual meeting Thursday, January 27th at noon at Christo’s Banquet Center. Mark Gidley, outgoing President of the Board of Directors gave his report. He spoke about the 50 or so people who saw there was a weakness and had a vision to create PIDCO. At the beginning share of stock sold for $50 and here we are 50 plus years and stocks are selling for $60.
Last year PIDCO reviewed their vision and decided to change from industrial development to downtown revitalization. Gidley said, “We want to be a catalyst to bring groups together to revitalize all segments but right now its downtown.” He continued by saying, “This past year we didn’t accomplish as much as we had hoped.” Part of that was because the company leasing the warehouse for the past 10 years left the building in the summer.
Gidley talked about the renewed relationship with the City of Plymouth and their new relationship with the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation. With these three groups working together they successfully negotiated an agreement with Whitley Products to lease half of the warehouse which also meant the addition of 15 new jobs. Gidley also honored local architect Brent Martin out-going board member for his dedication and devotion.
Mr. Gidley also noted the Mayor’s formation of the Downtown Revitalization Committee that includes members of PIDCO, the Redevelopment Commission and the Park Department. This committee is focusing on the new downtown park but will continue with all aspects of the downtown area. He mentioned the MainStreet Program and Wheel of Progress which is working on branding an identity for Plymouth.
Guest speaker for the meeting was economic development consultant Stu Summers from Valparaiso. He outlined some of the strong points the downtown area already has including the river, Farmers’ Market, Greenway Trail and housing. He also discussed projects that should be considered including redesign and improvements to the Farmers’ Market, upgrades to the existing parking lots, continue creating a distinctive South Gateway, and encourage more residents to live in and near downtown.
Summers said, “Growing existing businesses, attracts new businesses to the community, and reinforces other economic development activities.”
New officers were elected for 2011 including Jack Davis as President and Ren Van Gilder at Vice-President, Mark Gidley will serve as Treasurer and Sarah Smith will be Secretary. Two new board members were also elected. They are Jeff Jones and Fred Webster.