Two new leaders of the Clinton County Port Authority and the Wilmington Air Park are encouraged by the interest being generated at the air park and optimistic about port authority’s role in the overall economic climate of the county.
“When you look at this community, look at Energize Clinton County, look at what is happening downtown with the second and third story housing boom — those are the kinds of things that attract millennials and empty nesters and retain intellectual bandwidth,” says Dan Evers, who will become executive director of the CCPA on Jan. 1. “That fits perfectly with the kinds of things we are talking about—the next generation of R and D and supply chain operations that attract a unique mix of folks.”
Evers is impressed with the will of the locals to move forward despite the bad hand dealt the community by DHL.
“Ask yourself, ‘How many people, how many organizations, how many cities and counties would have just given up?’” Evers said. “You don’t even have to ask yourself. You can look around and see it. Not everybody responds the way this community did. That’s special. That speaks volumes about the place.”
This is a place Walt Rowsey has called home for about a quarter of a century. And despite now being a retired banking executive, Rowsey was quick to accept one of the vacant CCPA board positions last month as well as the added responsibility of being the chairman.
Rowsey says his predecessors on the board and the executive leadership team have left the port authority and air park in a good place.
“Once the park has a sustainable, long-term revenue profile we will be able to look at developing the remaining acreage around the current footprint for further economic development opportunities,” Rowsey said.
“Another goal of the board must be to use our unique abilities to provide creative financing opportunities for other projects in the county through tax credits, lower interest loans, or grants. We need to work with all areas of the county, including our partners in government, chambers of commerce, and economic development organizations at both the city and county levels, to pursue these opportunities for job growth and development improvement.”