City of Huntington Renews Service Contract with Huntington Co. Economic Development Corporation12/11/2015The Common Council of the City of Huntington voted unanimously to renew the vendor fee for service contract in 2016 with Huntington County Economic Development Corporation. The contract decision was made at their regular public meeting on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, after receiving a report of 2015 projects and activities from executive director Mark Wickersham. Wickersham told Council that Huntington County Economic Development Corporation was created as a non-profit organization in 1997 and has enjoyed a positive vendor relationship with the City since its inception.The Corporation has a 17 member board of directors and each municipal entity agreeing to a vendor contract is afforded a full-voting membership seat on the Board. Mayor Brooks Fetters and Councilman Greg Davis represented the City's interests on the Board in 2015. Wickersham reported that during his tenure (March of 2008-present) the agency has facilitated 87 industrial projects resulting in investments of private capital totaling over $248 million, committing to the creation of 2,027 new jobs and the retention of 7,546 incumbent positions. The County's unemployment rate has dropped from a peak of 14.3% to a more manageable 3.5% in October of 2015. He also explained those efforts re-developed 17 formerly vacant industrial sites, topping more than 2 million square feet. He reported 14 new projects in 2015 resulting in investments of private capital totaling over $23.6 million, effecting over 1,600 retained and new jobs. The 2016 President of the agency's board of directors will be Ryan Warner, CEO of Bippus State Bank. Serving as Vice President will be Kevin Killen, Owner, Thorne Insurance Agency. The Treasurer will be Kyle Hamilton, CEO, Our Sunday Visitor. The Secretary will be Greg Smitley, Vice President for Business & Finance, Huntington University. The City Council joined Mayor Fetters in thanking Huntington County Economic Development for a job well done in approving the $85,000 contract for 2016.