Some communities across Iowa are getting excited about a new economic development tool.
Fort Dodge Bio-Park northwest of town is one of four industrial sites in the state to be certified as shovel ready. Several companies are already doing business at the site.
"We now have hundreds of additional acres to offer for development. Ready, shovel ready, utilities to serve it, roadways to get to it, and now certified by the state of Iowa,” says Ft. Dodge mayor Matt Bemrich.
Dexter, Iowa Falls, and Van Meter also have sites which are certified ready. That means the preliminary legwork such as environmental studies have already been done.
The cities spend money on the studies.
Van Meter Mayer Allan Adams says his town is planning a big data farm and that not having a site ready caused a potential business to select another site.
“We were runner-up as late as last year…I think is when we had the last one come through. It ended up going to another state, so we hope that by having that certified site it gives us the advantage of being able to land that project the next time,” says Adams.
The state planners hope to have a certified site in every county at some point.
Last week Gov. Terry Branstad and Iowa Economic Development Authority director Debi Durham were in California to make a pitch for a company to locate in Iowa.
The governor says he cannot reveal the name of the company, as that would endanger the prospect of the deal going through.