September 13, 2012
KU School of Business RedTire Program       
Every rural community depends on its businesses to create a sustainable local economy. Small businesses create jobs, invest in the community, and provide access to various goods and services. In short, they help create the life of the community. 

One of the challenges facing small, rural communities is the lack of a designated successor to take over the operation of businesses once the owner decides to retire. In some cases, owners cannot find interested buyers for their businesses.

The KU Entrepreneurship Works of the University of Kansas School of Business created a new program, called RedTire, designed to address the closing of viable rural Kansas businesses due to a lack of a successor or exit strategy.   

RedTire will act as a matchmaker between rural business owners looking to exit and either highly qualified graduates from Kansas universities (not just the University of Kansas) who have the expertise and ambition to run those businesses or experienced business managers looking to buy and run their own business. 

The future prosperity of Abilene depends on its businesses staying in business even after a successful businessperson decides its time to retire. The City of Abilene encourages current businesses owners and aspiring business owners to check into RedTire to see if it can help meet your future needs.

This program was identified by the City of Abilene as an "assistance opportunity" for local businesses. As an on-going service to the business community, the City will continue to provide information on various federal, state and local programs designed to assist entrepreneurs with their goals.
Employee Profile:  Jennifer Chaput      
Jennifer Chaput is a Firefighter II and a Emergency Medical Technician with the City of Abilene. Her primary job duties are to protect the life and property of the citizens of Abilene and Dickinson County.

During her daily routine, Jen may combat fires, provide emergency life saving services, and perform rescue operations. Jen also tests, maintains, and repairs fire fighting equipment to ensure it is ready for the next emergency call.
Jennifer started with the Abilene Fire Department in July of 2005 as a volunteer firefighter and became a full-time firefighter in February of 2006. She is currently training to become a Juvenile Intervention Specialist II to work with children who have fire-related issues (i.e., arson tendencies, etc.). Jen participates in the City's Emerging Leaders Program.
Favorite aspects of the job: Interacting with the public.
Family: Jen has three children; Josh is currently serving in the United States Navy, Emily is working and attending college, and Zach is in high school.
Hobbies:  Reading, running, working out and taking on-line college courses towards an Associates Degree in Science.

Please say hello to Jen next time you see her around town. 
Economic Development Framework
In partnership with Dickinson County, City officials have developed a framework to guide its role in economic development. The framework is still under review, but will eventually provide a defined scope for moving forward on various economic development initiatives. In summary, the current version of the framework is as follows:
  • Information. Local government agencies will serve as a clearinghouse for information and data that may be of assistance to those interested in opening a business. Easy access to information will simplify the process needed to research opportunities and develop business plans and feasibility studies.
  • Regulations. By streamlining the local regulatory process and removing unnecessary or cumbersome regulations, local agencies will make it easier for businesses to find the fertile ground they need to succeed. Regulations should be fair, but not create a burden for the local business community.
  • Marketing. Every successful business needs to communicate with current and potential customers. Marketing the local economy goes even deeper when an area communicates in a unified voice. By marketing our attractions, vacant land and buildings, and the benefits of living, working and growing a business in Dickinson County, we will reach out to those who have the potential of investing in our community.
  • Assistance. There are many resources that are available to help entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed. Local government agencies will serve as an often needed liaison between federal, state, and regional resources. Additionally, local agencies will continuously search for opportunities and programs that may be of assistance to the local business community. Finally, local governments will work to implement new incentives to encourage and promote business growth.
  • Communication. Local government agencies will strive to improve its communication with local businesses to ensure that services are being provided that will enhance the probability of success. Business and government should have an on-going dialogue that questions "how has our partnership made Dickinson County more prosperous?"
Dickinson County and the City of Abilene will continue to refine this framework for economic development. Please email your ideas about local government's role in economic development to City Manager David Dillner
Issue: 8.12
 The City of Abilene is  currently in a declared  Water Warning  and encourages all water  customers to voluntarily  conserve water. Please be  advised that outside  watering is prohibited  between 12:00 pm and 7:00  pm. 

Demo Derby Beer Garden
The City Commission recently heard a proposal from the Central Kansas Free Fair Demolition Derby Committee regarding a beer garden at the upcoming Five-State Demolition Derby. The event is scheduled for October 12 and 13 and will be located at the stadium in the Fairgrounds. 


The City Commission has previously discussed the topic of allowing the consumption of alcohol on City-owned property when a proposal was brought forward by the Central Kansas Free Fair Rodeo Committee to allow a beer garden during the rodeo. The rodeo proposal was not approved by the City Commission. 


With respect to the demolition derby event, the City Commission is open to considering allowing a beer garden as the event is not incorporated to the Central Kansas Free Fair and the rodeo. The event would provide an opportunity to determine if a beer garden operation could be done in such a way as to allow responsible consumption of alcohol. 

Historically, there has been an issue with illegal alcohol consumption at the fair grounds during a variety of events that are held on the grounds. Section 5-202 of the City Code only allows the consumption of alcohol at the Civic Center and Senior Center; alcohol consumption is prohibited on all other properties owned by the City of Abilene. 
By allowing a beer garden for the demolition derby, the unauthorized consumption of alcohol may be greatly minimized. The Demolition Derby Committee will be required to provide security to ensure that alcohol consumption only occurs in the designated beer garden area. All other consumption will be strictly enforced by the Abilene Police Department. 
The City Commission will review the proposal at its September 18 Study Session at 7:00 am. The venue for this meeting has been changed to the Commission Chambers at the Abilene Public Library. The City Commission is expected to take final action on this issue at its September 24, 2012 regular meeting.


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Figure of the Week
Percentage of vehicular burglaries reported to the Abilene Police Department year-to-date that involved an unlocked vehicle. The Abilene Police Department has taken reports on 42 vehicular burglaries in the last 9 months. Additionally, 77% of structural burglaries were also unsecured. Unlocked doors on a vehicle or structure provide criminals with an easy target. Police Chief Mark Heimer encourages everyone to lock their doors at all times to help prevent burglaries.
City of Abilene, Kansas
Home of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum