Secret from 025: Partnering with Local Utility Companies

During this month’s episode of Economic Development Secrets, Bryan Brackemyre, Vice President of Member Services at the Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA) shares how your EDO can create a constructive partnership with your local utility companies.

Economic development is a team effort. Because we all have different strength and weaknesses and backgrounds, I think we will all be the big winners with the more people that are involved [and bringing their expertise to the table]. So I strongly recommend in reaching out to your utility professionals too because whenever you’ve got a company that’s looking to grow or expand or even housing development coming in, the infrastructure is so important because it’s not that easy as just hooking up a wire to electricity. You’ve got a lot of the infrastructure that’s on the front end of that that you’ve got to plan and be able to make that happen. Sometimes that’s millions of millions of dollars on a community to be able to make sure that they have the necessary infrastructure to serve a site. So I can’t imagine anything more embarrassing than if a company was looking to announce a project and the utility company was never involved and they say, “Okay, well I’m sorry we can’t do that. We don’t have the capacity to help that grow.”

So I always recommend whether it’s on the electric, water, sewer side, to make sure that the utilities are engaged. And the best way to do that is really to just say, “I’m trying to get an idea of what our existing infrastructure is and what we can adequately serve in the site,” so the economic development professional can better tell their story. They [need] as much information at their disposal so they’re never caught off guard by anything in the future.

Listen to the full  episode of the podcast using the player below.