Ag industrial park is ready for certification

The final steps to achieving site certification at Webster County’s ag/industrial park have been completed, after the Board of Supervisors approved a real estate purchase Tuesday morning.

The purchase is a 125 foot right of way between Hayes and Harvest avenues at Iowa’s Crossroads of Global Innovation, said Supervisor Mark Campbell.

“The reason for this is to make sure our investment of water and sewer lines to Harvest Avenue will not dead-end there, if someone would buy that land in the future,” said Supervisor Clark Fletcher.

Just over 8 acres were purchased for a total of about $216,514. The county used funds from the local option sales tax for the purchase. The county bought:

– 2.48 acres from Alice May Stotts, William John Stotts and Jane Ann Stotts for $62,000.

– 2 acres from Jerry Kelley and Marcia Hampton for $50,000

– 4.05 acres from C&P Kelso Farms LLC for $101,250

The park will be certified next week as shovel-ready, said Kelly Halsted, economic development director for the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance. This means new companies can build on the site with very little delay.

“They don’t have to go through the environmental studies, soil studies, making sure there aren’t any archeological finds or endangered species on the grounds – all those studies have already been completed,” Halsted said.

Becoming certified has been a two-year, process, Halsted added.

The infrastructure at the park can supply 30 million gallons of fresh water a day, and remove 22 million gallons of wastewater every day, she said. It’s connected by fiber optic with Webster-County Cooperative Telephone Association.

“It’s currently served by the Canadian National Railroad, and we’re working on making it dual-rail,” said Halsted.

The Union Pacific Railroad currently can only serve the east end of the park.

The board approved appointment of Corrine Canon to Veterans Affairs Commissioner to fill a vacancy. Canon was in the Air Force for six years, and six of her seven brothers were in the military. She is originally from West Bend, and her son is a disabled veteran.

The board also authorized contracts for three bridge replacement projects – two on 380th Street just east of Iowa Highway 144, and one on Dakota Avenue, south of U.S. Highway 20 and west of Moorland – with Peterson Contractors Inc. Bids for the bridges were opened at the April 8 board meeting, with Peterson Contractors submitting the low bids. A contract for a third bridge on 390th Street two miles east of County Road P29 has yet to be approved.