FD, Webster County projects to be showcased in Washington
18 Mar 2018
Some members of Congress and other federal officials are about to get a crash course on what’s going on in Fort Dodge and Webster County.
That education will be courtesy of a 17-member local delegation that will travel to Washington, D.C., this week for an annual lobbying trip.
During their time on Capitol Hill, members of the group will talk about everything from the proposed Warden Plaza development to federal funding for Iowa Central Community College. They’ll ask the federal leaders for assistance in applying for grants to help pay for various needs.
Community representatives have been making similar lobbying trips for about 20 years. During that time, they’ve developed connections with federal officials that have resulted in financial help for things like improving the Des Moines River corridor in Fort Dodge.
“It’s nice to get to know the leadership and the staff out there,” Webster County Supervisor Mark Campbell said. “Because of these relationships, we found project funding that we otherwise wouldn’t have.”
Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich recalled that a brief conversation near the end of a meeting during a previous Washington trip resulted in federal money to pay for hiring a manager for Market on Central.
The trips, he said, create a “high impact” for the community.
“I think the return on investment is apparent,” he said.
The local group will leave Tuesday and return Friday. Most of its work will be on Wednesday and Thursday.
Meetings with U.S. senators Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst, along with U.S. Rep. Steve King, will be held on those days.
Other meetings are planned with the aides to those elected officials and with representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Items to be discussed include more riverfront improvements, the renovation of the Warden Plaza and the construction of a new cultural and recreation center, Main Street Fort Dodge, the Essential Air Service program that subsidizes flights to and from Fort Dodge, the industrial park called Iowa’s Crossroads of Global Innovation, and various forms of aid for Iowa Central Community College and its students.