A much-deserved award was bestowed upon the Cobblestone Inn & Suites in Eads on Thursday night as the company was named by Kiowa County Economic Development Foundation (KCEDF) the Business of the Year for 2017 during their annual meeting. Accepting the award was one of the owners of the hotel, Craig Kerfoot, and Cobblestone Manager Raina Lynch. Other topics of discussion in the KCEDF annual meeting included information on tax credits and updates on the Child Care Center and new housing development.
The annual meeting was held at the Cobblestone Inn & Suites. Mike Lening, Board President of KCEDF, opened the meeting with approximately 30 interested citizens in attendance. After welcoming everyone and extending an invitation for all to enjoy the wonderful food set out by the competent staff at the Cobblestone, Lening turned the meeting over to KCEDF Director Jan Richards. Richards first gave a hearty welcome back to board member from Sheridan Lake, Jerry Weber, who returns to the group after a long absence due to illness.
Richards then described the numerous projects and work that KCEDF has been focusing on over the past year. The two major projects include the Child Care Center and the new Housing Complex. Richards introduced the board of the Future Leaders and Learners Childcare Center including Shawn Kraft, Chairman; Debi Derby, Vice-Chair; Kayla Murdock, Secretary; Jennifer Crow, Treasurer; Braylynn Eder, Director; Dennis Pearson, Director; Jan Richards, Director, and Tina Kraft, FLLCC Administrative Director. Richards explained there is an urgent need for the center as the lack of daycare is causing many young parents to quit the work force and stay home as they can’t find good care. The few private providers, who Richards described as quite competent, are full to capacity and so the rest are left with no options. This center will be a licensed center with hours of Monday through Friday from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. It’s for infants to children up to 12 years of age. They have received preliminary approval from the state and have accepted a donation from the county of their playground equipment and fencing that was used by the previous daycare and preschool. ES Tech has donated their telephone and internet service, as well. The time frame is still up in the air, however, Richards indicated once all the permissions and contracts are in place it should not take long to get everything else lined up.
Richards then went into a description of the new housing development that is going in on land donated by KCEDF located just west of the historical barn at Jackson’s Pond that stands as the trailhead down to the pond. This complex will have 6 modular apartments including two (2) three-bedroom apartments and four (4) two-bedroom apartments, including one handicap apartment option. There will be a playground on the complex with fencing on the north and east sides. A storage shed and carport will be provided for each unit. The in-kind donations for this project have come from Kiowa County Road & Bridge and the Town of Eads. Bids will soon be taken for work on the outside area including concrete work, fencing, and landscaping. This is a collaborative project between SECED, the State Housing Authority, and KCEDF. SECED will be the lead agency in the project and will manage the property.
KCEDF board members include Lening, Kerfoot, Weber, Pearson, Sean Lening, Donald Oswald, and Betsy Barnett. The board requested a notice be published informing the public that Richards will be having surgery and will be out of the office from July 30th to approximately August 15th. However, generally, she will be answering phone calls and emails.