Knoxville — The Knoxville City Council approved the expenditure of up to $14,000 on a multiple-page spread in an upcoming Iowa Economic Development Authority publication, which will be distributed to business interests around the world.
City Manager Harold Stewart said he is constantly receiving requests to purchase advertisements in different publications to promote the City. Most of them he ignores, but he believes the difference with this one is that it is made by the IEDA, and is more likely to reach developers and businesses that Knoxville is trying to recruit.
The Iowa Economic Development Guide has many options for advertisements from cities. Stewart told the council that when he spoke with IEDA, he was told that no other towns had purchased the two-page spread option. Most were buying smaller advertisements. In Stewart's opinion, taking the initiative to be the only community with the extra coverage would make a statement to the IEDA and potential community investors.
"It's getting your name out there, it's getting the attention," Stewart said.
The item was not budgeted, but staff is confident that there will be savings in other expenditures that will cover the costs of the advertisement. Stewart may also seek financial assistance from unidentified "local leaders." Mayor Brian Hatch was concerned about Knoxville being the only community to sign up for this level of advertising.
“I don't see anybody else jumping at this. Why are we the only ones jumping at that?” Hatch asked. He went on to say that he wants the community to lead, but he does not want Knoxville to be alone in its stand.
“Everybody's in the same boat we are, but nobody else is jumping out there," Hatch said.
The council approved the expenditure, 4-1, with Councilor Dawn Allspach-Kline voting against. Look for a full report on this in the June 20 print edition.