The cities of Van Meter and Dexter have been named two of four industrial sites to achieve certification through the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) certified site program.
Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds made the announcement on Monday, April 28, 2014 with Branstad stating the project is "moving Iowa to the top of the list for projects that are looking for a home. Those projects mean more Iowa jobs."
Through the certification process Van Meter is looking to create the Van Meter Vision Park, 288 acres designated to be marketed toward data centers. An industrial park has been presented for the City of Dexter with 255 developable acres available.
Van Meter Mayor Allan Adams expressed his gratitude of support toward all those involved in the process and what the certified sites mean for the City of Van Meter.
"This puts us on the map," he said. "It’s pretty exciting thinking a little town like Van Meter can play almost on a national stage. It’s giving us the ability to do that."
Adams said he believes once the city is chosen by a business that the city itself would thrive.
"Probably around 35 employees would be employ(ed), and we would guess a half or two-thirds of those would decide to build in Van Meter so that increases number of households and gets more kids in the school system. At that point I believe it will further drive economic development and maybe some businesses will pop up. "To me, it really goes above the particular site itself."
Linda Wunsch, executive director of the Greater Dallas County Development Alliance, said the site certification has been in the works for two years now and will continue throughout other parts of the county including Perry.
"We have started the process for Perry and that will be a certified product," she said. "So we will have three very different and unique products. We are excited about it and think it’s great." Debi Durham, director of the IEDA, said the county itself is "big-thinking" and sees it being a major contender for growth.
"If you look at the size of the county you can see you already have two certified sites and next year we fully expect Perry to be in that," she said. "This is a very big-thinking county and you are doing everything right. Site certification is about having the land ready to go so we still have to make the case, and the case is we have to be able to demonstrate work force (as well as) show these are communities people want to live in. "There’s no better example than that of Dallas County."
The IEDA started the certified site program May 2012 and is designed to consider a combination of national site location standards as well as Iowa’s natural assets and industry needs. They are currently working with McCallum Sweeney Consulting (MSC) as the sole certifying agent.
Two other sites, Fort Dodge and Iowa Falls, were selected in conjunction with Van Meter and Dexter sites on Monday. For more information about the Iowa Certified Site Program, visit www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/SiteLocation/CertifiedSite.