Development highlighted in Manson

MANSON – Supporters of Manson heard about a potential new well, new water lines, and plans for fireworks at the town celebration during the Manson Economic Development Corporation’s annual meeting Sunday night.

Mayor Dave George said work to find a new well site, which began several years ago, is still ongoing.

“Over the last few years we’ve been extremely successful in drilling for rock. Now we’re trying to get water,” George said. “We have not been real successful just yet.”

He said the city has hired a company called Aquatech, which uses electromagnetic fields and satellite imagery to determine where a well should be drilled. Three locations have been identified. The city is currently looking to purchase some land near the Pro Coop anhydrous tanks to drill another attempt.

“We had several main breaks this year, as did most communities in the midwest,” George said. “With the extreme cold and the depth of the frost this year, the city of Manson went through 12 breaks. Unfortunately we had five of them in one day.”

Those five breaks in a day required the city to shut down the water plant, which triggered an automatic boil order until test samples came back clean, he said.

George said he and the city water superintendent will propose to the city council to replace the water main along 13th Avenue, since it keeps having problems.

He also said the city workers deserve a big thank-you for their work fixing the breaks.

“When we had those five water main breaks, some of those guys worked over 26 hours, 28 hours straight, to get your water turned back on and running again,” George said.

The Manson Chamber of Commerce continues its efforts to make the annual Greater Crater Days celebration bigger and better.

“We’re going to have a fireworks show this year. We haven’t had that for the last few years,” said Chamber President Kelli Girard.

The chamber will be looking for donations for the show, she said.

“We’re trying to make it back to our hometown, old-fashioned Crater Days where everybody comes out,” Girard said. “A lot of years it’s been kind of slow, but last year we had a wonderful turnout again.”

During the business meeting, Paul Zeka was elected to the MEDC board, to replace David Wooldridge, who chose not to serve on the board for another term. Zeka is also on the Manson City Council. Gwen Ewing, Deb Loerch and Pat Essing’s terms expired, and they were elected to serve another term on the board.

MEDC President Randy Kaiser spoke about Manson’s growth.

“It’s been a year where we’ve seen a lot of results from some of our past efforts,” Kaiser said.

New houses have gone up in the recently completed housing addition, the new recreation center has been successful, and businesses that had been sponsored by the MEDC are growing and adding employees.

Mark Egli, superintendent of Manson Northwest Webster schools, said admission is up in spite of census numbers.

The town also benefits from the ag industrial park halfway between Manson and Fort Dodge, Kaiser said.

“You can drive there from Manson just as quick as from Fort Dodge,” he said.

Representatives from Cargill and CJ Bio America were there to explain what their companies do at the ag park and why further growth is expected.

Bob Frank, logistics manager at CJ Bio, lives in Manson.

“I constantly encourage new people who come here to move to Manson, or I constantly encourage people from Manson to apply,” Frank said. “I like what I do, and I like this town.”

Marv Poppen, who once served on the MEDC board and has lived near Manson all his life, said people need to know the many good reasons to live in Manson.

“The next 10 years could be the best opportunity for the Manson area, but we all need to help,” Poppen said. “We need ambassadors.”