Between two intersections in Mingo, which are together the deadliest stretch of road in the state, sits the farm of Larry Cleverley. The Iowa Department of Transportation would like to redesign the nearby roads to make them safer, but that plan would push Cleverley off his farm.
State Senator Dennis Black knew Cleverley’s grandfather; he says the project could end up taking more than just soil from the Cleverley family.
“We’re talking about a history of the Cleverley family,” says Senator Black. “Coming to a site in Iowa over a century ago, and taking a hardscrabbled piece of God’s land; an area that wasn’t very flat, most of it hilly, covered in white oak and bare oak timber, a lot of Savannah. And taking that and creating not only a family farm, but sort of a legacy.”
Senator Black gauged his colleagues’ take on the issue at the Legislative Day at the Iowa State Fair. From that, he says no one he talked to supports the DOT’s decision, and that before new projects come up, the DOT should prioritize unfinished projects, such as Highway 20 in northern Iowa.