Selling Elkhorn

ICI Commercial, EEDA to divvy up marketing of city properties

By Kellen Olshefski

SLN Staff

The City of Elkhorn Common Council voted in favor of approving a contract with ICI Commercial to provide broker services for the city.

However, the new contract comes with some changes in comparison to previous contracts with the company and the city will now only use the firm for sales in the city’s business park. The new contract will also remove a monthly $600 stipend the city paid to ICI Commercial for active marketing citywide.

A motion to approve a contract with ICI Commercial for brokerage of business park land sales, with anything beyond that, including marketing, coming before the city’s Finance and Judicial Committee for consideration, was made by Alderman Scott McClory and approved by the full council 6-0.

The decision comes out of a recommendation from the June 13 City of Elkhorn Elkhorn Finance and Judicial Committee meeting.

At that time, City Administrator Sam Tapson said when ICI Commercial was originally brought on, it was brought on solely as a brokerage agent for the city’s business park.

With the development of the Elkhorn Economic Development Alliance, Tapson said it might make sense that the entity could take on some of the more broader, citywide commercial marketing for the city as part of a shared responsibility with ICI Commercial.

“The last thing you want to do, I think anyway, is have this sort of fractured approach where you have people going in different directions,” Tapson said.

McClory agreed with Tapson at that meeting, noting he would rather see the two entities as companions in the city, rather than unknowingly marketing the same properties in different ways.

EEDA President James Duquette said he thinks the group is equipped to assist and serves as a good marketing tool for the city, though being the group is all volunteer would not be able to take over all marketing.

“I think EEDA can help, just like James said, but I think at some point in time, there does need to be a brokerage agency like ICI involved,” Vice President Chris Clapper said.

Tapson suggested at that time if the committee wanted to retain ICI Commercial, it recommend limiting its scope to the business park and having the EEDA work on external contacts for things outside of the park.

“If it’s more along the commercial lines, move it over to the EEDA and let them respond to it,” he said. “That’s not to say they can’t respond to industrial interests outside the park, but I think you have to draw some lines of demarcation or people are going to be tripping over themselves.”

Duquette agreed with Tapson, noting he thinks it also accurately describes the group’s current capabilities.

“We’ve got enough people with the ability and desire to be this response team,” he said. “I think that’s a good way to delineate responsibilities.”

As for the $600 stipend previously given to ICI Commercial on a montly basis, Tapson said he would rather see the city shy away from it, having any “marketing pieces” brought before the city on an individual basis, at which time elected officials would review it and budget for it.

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