Joel Wicoff
2 W. Jackson Ave.
P.O. Box 308
Iola, KS 66749
Email: Joel Wicoff

City Administrator

Sid Fleming
2 W. Jackson Ave
P.O. Box 308
Email: Sid Fleming

Iola Industries Incorporated

Web Site
President- John McRae
111 S. Washington
Iola, KS 66749
Email: John McRae

Imagine if the citizens of a community agreed to work together to enhance their quality of life by promoting a positive environment for industry to thrive and grow. It happened in Iola, Kansas, in June of 1955. A doctor, newspaper publisher, bankers, credit bureau manager, Realtor, S&L manager, gas plant manager, attorney, drugstore and clothing store owners, and a foundry owner came together to form a for-profit corporation to promote industrial development in their community. Their vision for Iola Industries became a reality.

The synergy of this group of individuals makes it work. Their ability to streamline the process and work cooperatively with city and county governments has been proved time and time again. The entire development process is much more efficient thanks to Iola Industries, Inc. industrial version of "one-stop shopping."

Iola Industries has helped make labor surveys, determine soil types for contractors, answered specific questions about taxes, utility rates, and transportation facilities.

Think of Iola Industries as the key to your success because the volunteers on board provide basically a turnkey operation. Your project can be designed, constructed and financed with Iola Industries. With half a million in net worth, Iola Industries is able to offer qualified industries their construction financing with no down payment. Over 100 acres of prime industrial development is available through Iola Industries. Other benefits secured by the cooperative efforts of Iola Industries and the city include:

  • 150 acre spring fed lake.
  • Water rights to the third largest tributary in Kansas, the Neosho river.
  • Sewage plant large enough for a city of 16,000.
  • Ample municipal power.
  • All utilities owned and operated by the City of Iola.
  • Utility rate structure among the lowest in Kansas

Thrive Allen County

Web Site
9 South Jefferson Avenue
Iola, KS 66749




Related Web Pages

Major Industry

SEK Inc.

Available Building Sites

Kansas Department of Commerce


























































Business and Industry

Economic Development Statement

Targeting existing business retention and expansion, new business attraction, and securing economic growth with the addition of new jobs within the community, are important current and long-term public objectives of the City of Iola. Keeping Iola's existing businesses happy, helping them to expand, and encouraging corporate relocation and start-ups are major goals. The granting of certain incentives is one of the approaches used by the City to help attain these goals and objectives. This list of possible incentives is provided for the benefit of industries and local economic development agencies. The Criteria are designed to help guide the City's Governing Body in determining the appropriate level of incentives to be provided, and help establish the policy standards to govern the fair, effective and judicious use of such incentives, based on the community’s overall benefit.

Possible Incentives

The Governing Body of Iola acknowledges that no other entity or individual can commit the City Council to providing a specific incentive. However, upon request or negotiation, the City Council may consider any of the following listed incentives or amenities to attract business to the community. Other reasonable requests may also be considered by the City Council.

  • Sponsoring or co-sponsoring grant requests to State and/or Federal agencies (Industrial Manufacturing/Distribution).
  • Abating property taxes (up to the Kansas State maximum of 100% abatement for 10-years) (Industrial Manufacturing/ Distribution).
  • Issuing Industrial Revenue Bonds on behalf of the industry (Industrial Manufacturing/ Distribution).
  • Assisting, or causing assistance to be provided, in applying for revolving loan funds from other agencies, and applying for State incentives or assistance (i.e. training, sales tax exemptions, child day care tax credits, enterprise zone incentives, and/or applying for Small Business Administration loans for purchase of equipment, business expansion and working capital).
  • Providing public funded assistance using Industrial Fund, Utility Fund Reserves, or General Fund.
  • Sales tax referendum (Industrial Manufacturing/ Distribution).
  • Purchasing real property on which a new facility is to be constructed or to which an existing facility is to be relocated.
  • Causing infrastructure to be constructed, renovated, improved, or otherwise altered or added, such as roads, storm sewers, drainage waterways, curb cuts, access routes, etc.
  • Providing copies of City CAD maps indicating location of existing utilities, zoning, streets, flood plain, and other landmarks.
  • Assisting with funding and/or coordinating site preparation, engineering and/or construction of a building to specification.
Fees and Charges
  • Waiving all, or a portion, of City permit fees, inspection fees, and/or City utility connection fees.
  • Waiving of all or a portion of Allen County Sanitary Landfill fees for a specific period of time (with Allen County approval).
City Utilities
  • Extending City owned utilities, including electric, gas, water, to the property line or a location on the property.
  • Providing City sewer tap (“Y” connection), or extending City owned sewer main to the property line, or a location on the property.
  • Providing special utility rates for a specific period of time (Industrial Manufacturing/Distribution).
Work Force
  • Providing demographic information, including population, work force, and labor market statistics.
  • Assisting in locating appropriate work force training funds, and/or educational opportunities.


In the broadest terms, a desirable incentive is one that is financially profitable to the City and produces jobs. Profit for the City can be described as the net revenues from the project, exceeding the cost of incentives plus recurring costs of providing City services. A desirable incentive is one that causes an investment or relocation that would not otherwise have happened. The use of a cost/ benefit analysis is the best approach to determine what public value is derived, and how long it will be before the public investments, tax or utility revenues generated, will pay back the cost of the incentive and ongoing City service costs.

The City of Iola will consider granting incentives or providing amenities only upon a clear and factual showing of direct economic benefit to the City through advancement of its economic development goals, including the creation of additional jobs and the stimulation of additional private investment. The Governing Body, in determining the viability, amount and terms of an incentive, shall consider various factors including, but not limited to the following:

  • The volume and load factor of the utility usage, as well as the condition of the utility fund, compared to the reduction in a specific utility rate for a specific period of time.
  • Appraised value of the property in relation to the economic benefit to the City of Iola in increased employment.
  • The gain in tax revenue which may result from the new or expanded business, including the increase in the property tax base, upon the expiration of a tax abatement.
  • The political, social and/or environmental standards and conditions within the community as they relate to the industry.
  • The contribution that the new or expanded business will make towards increased employment and earnings within the community.
  • The number and quality of new jobs created directly by the business in relation to the amount of incentives granted.
  • The kinds of jobs created in relation to the type of skills available from the local labor market.
  • The utilization by the business of labor skills and abilities of unemployed persons in the community.
  • The degree to which the business improves the diversification of the economy of the City of Iola and its environs.
  • The degree to which the ultimate market for the manufactured products is outside the community, recognizing that outside markets bring in “new money” to the local economy.
  • The potential of the business for further expansion and additional job creation.
  • The beneficial impacts the business may have by creating other new jobs and businesses, including the utilization of local products or other materials and substances in manufacturing.
  • The beneficial economic impact the business will have on a particular area of the City of Iola, including designated enterprise zones and areas of needed revitalization or redevelopment.
  • The compatibility of the location of the business with land use and development plans of the City and the availability of existing infrastructure facilities and essential public services.
  • The extent to which additional direct or indirect public costs to the City and to other local units would be necessary, such as the cost of the extension of public facilities.
  • The extent to which the economic and employment benefits of the incentive accrue to the residents and taxpayers of those taxing subdivisions which indirectly “subsidize” the business as a result of the forgone tax revenue.

Please contact the City Administrator for detailed information and specific policies such as Tax Abatement, Issuance of Industrial Revenue Bonds and etc.