Pandora officials were the recipient of the Red Rose given out this year by the Putnam County Community Improvement Corporation.
The award was presented Thursday night during the annual reorganization meeting held in Continental. It is given annually to the community who did the most to promote development.
“They have had a tough year,” said former director Martin Kuhlman when presenting the award. Kuhlman said their officials had to deal with the Road 5 and Dollar General Store controversy. He said the officials made decisions and stood behind development saying the attitude of the mayor and council was to say it was the right thing to do and we need to do it.
Pandora Mayor John Schlumbohm acknowledged the village had several issues to address during the past year.
Kuhlman said in addition to this Pandora continue to promote development by annexing additional property for their industrial park, and making infrastructure improvements.
Mike Borer, a former member of the board, spoke about the transition taking place with the Putnam County CIC. He commended Martin Kuhlman for all the work he has done while serving as the CIC director since 1986. Kuhlman has stepped down as the director. Curt Croy is now the new director of the CIC.
Borer said Croy had a work ethic that would help take the CIC to another level.
“I hope everyone here can give me wings to help me fly,” Croy said. He hopes to build a foundation that can help keep families in Putnam County.
Kuhlman talked about the accomplishments of the CIC and growth in the county as the result of their work.
“Since 1990 we have implemented over 40 Community Reinvestment Area agreements offering tax incentives.
“As a result of those investments we have seen the companies invest $1.7 billion in this county,”Kuhlman said. He said since 1990 there have been 3,900 new jobs created in the county with an annual payroll of $125 million
Kuhlman also said over the 2012-2014 three year period he expect a total of 800 million new investments in the county.
“As a result of this we will see 330-340 new jobs in the county with an average payroll of $40,000 per year.
Kuhlman also said when he started Putnam County was 17 or 18 in the state for median average family income. “Now we are sixth in the state,” he said. “We are the only rural county in the top 10.