Plautz, Lutz stand firm for FD, Iowa at forum

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Main News Photo

Chad Thompson

During a forum aimed at discussing ways to revitalize rural Iowa communities, Dennis Plautz, the chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, said Fort Dodge is a prime example of growth taking place in the region.

“In the last four years retail sales are up 35 percent,” he said. “Eighteen hundred new jobs have been added and now close to 1,500 more will be coming to the area with Prestage.”

He added, “One size does not fit all and I think Fort Dodge is a good example of that.”

Plautz spoke during a revitalize main street forum at the Fort Museum and Frontier Village Opera House Tuesday night. About 50 people attended.

Plautz said Fort Dodge has made a lot of progress since the early 1990s when the local population dwindled.

z stand firm for FD, Iowa at forum

 

 
-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson

Terry Lutz, former mayor of Fort Dodge, speaks during a revitalize main street forum at Fort Museum and Frontier Village Opera House Tuesday night.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson Terry Lutz, former mayor of Fort Dodge, speaks during a revitalize main street forum at Fort Museum and Frontier Village Opera House Tuesday night.

During a forum aimed at discussing ways to revitalize rural Iowa communities, Dennis Plautz, the chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, said Fort Dodge is a prime example of growth taking place in the region.

“In the last four years retail sales are up 35 percent,” he said. “Eighteen hundred new jobs have been added and now close to 1,500 more will be coming to the area with Prestage.”

He added, “One size does not fit all and I think Fort Dodge is a good example of that.”

Plautz spoke during a revitalize main street forum at the Fort Museum and Frontier Village Opera House Tuesday night. About 50 people attended.

Plautz said Fort Dodge has made a lot of progress since the early 1990s when the local population dwindled.

“Fort Dodge’s peak population was 31,000 in 1970,” he said. “By 1990, after Hormel and others left, we dropped under 26,000 people.”

“We lost 3,000 jobs in three years,” he said. “At that time we had no need for new housing.”

Today, the city is experiencing a different set of problems, including lack of suitable housing.

And, Plautz said, another major issue in Fort Dodge and surrounding areas is workforce.

“The biggest threat is workforce,” he said. “Can we get people to move here to take these jobs or train people who are already here to take jobs?”

Terry Lutz, a former mayor of Fort Dodge, said workforce and housing are issues almost everywhere.

What makes the difference in any community, according to Lutz, is leadership.

Full article.

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