Council approves SEED loan for Device Shop, purchase of new police uniforms
The city council met last Monday and approved several purchases for the fire and police departments, as well as several items involving economic development programs. Here's a look at two of the major items approved at the meeting.
SEED loan approved for Device Shop
The city council approved a Shawnee Entrepreneurial and Economic Development (SEED) agreement with the Device Shop of Shawnee for $75,000 in 2015.
The city's SEED program provides approved businesses with a loan that is incrementally forgiven over time as specified targets are met. The loan is funded by the Shawnee Economic Development Fund.
Device Shop, 10316 Shawnee MIssion Parkway, is an entrepreneurial resource and development center for start-ups and expanding companies very similar. It is very similar to an incubator and is focused primarily on hardware-related companies. Device Shop houses manufacturing equipment, tooling, 3-D printers, electronic test and mechanical design equipment for prototyping and more. The owners also provide business start-up services including fundraising, business plan development through a six-step methodology, and collaborative environment.
The council voted 6-1 in favor of the loan. Council members in favor of the agreement described how unique the business is and how much it means to keep them in Shawnee and ensure that they will take advantage of working with other Shawnee businesses.
"This is an asset to this community," said Council Member Brandon Kenig.
Council Member Mike Kemmling voted against the agreement, saying that he is not in favor of giving taxpayer money to private businesses.
"I don't think it's our role in government to give them money," Kemmling said.
The loan will assist Device Shop with the purchase of equipment needed for the company to expand its operations support to their production clients and increase the number and speed of companies that can be assisted.
In order to have the loan be forgiven over the two year agreement, the Device Shop is required to make significant purchases from Shawnee businesses, vendors, or suppliers of goods and services for the operation of the Device Shop and to meet quarterly with the Shawnee Economic Development Council staff on the status, growth, and development of Device Shop clients to assist the community’s economic development efforts.
Device Shop will be required to pay back the loan if they do not meet those requirements.
Purchase of new police uniforms approved
Shawnee police will be wearing new uniforms by the end of the year as the city council approved the purchase of new navy blue uniforms.
In January, Shawnee police officers were surveyed and asked to provide feedback about uniforms and there was overwhelming support for changing the color of uniform shirts to dark navy, matching their current pant color. The department has been wearing a lighter blue shirt since the conception of the department in the 1950s.
The city received four bids for the uniform contract and decided to go with Alamar Uniforms of Lenexa for $38,281.
There was a lower bid from Baysingers Uniforms and Equipment of Wichita but city staff and the police department said there are advantages to working with a local vendor.
Overall, the cost for getting the new uniforms does not exceed the annual $40,000 budgeted for uniform repair and maintenance in the department's budget.
The city council unanimously approved the purchase of the new uniforms.