River plans a focal point in D.C.
23 Mar 2018
Future plans for the Des Moines River corridor in Fort Dodge were a frequent topic of discussion in Washington, D.C., Thursday as local leaders spent a second day lobbying in the nation’s capital.
The river was a prime discussion topic during sessions with the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron.
King, whose district includes Webster County, spent 45 minutes with the local group, and his staff spent another half hour with the delegation.
“We’ve got a very good relationship with him and his staff,” Fort Dodge City Councilman Terry Moehnke said.
“It was a very productive trip,” he added. “We did a great job of reaching out to people.”
In addition to meeting with federal officials, some of the local representatives visited the embassy of Kosovo. Fort Dodge is a sister city to Gjakova, a community in that Balkan country.
Most of the snow that forced the cancellation of the greater part of the local group’s meetings on Wednesday melted on Thursday.
Thursday’s agenda started with a meeting with representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers. Fort Dodge City Manager David Fierke said the planned removal of the two dams on the Des Moines River and the future redevelopment of the river corridor were the subjects of that meeting.
Then it was on to King’s office. The congressman was especially interested in the riverfront, Fort Dodge Regional Airport and the renovation of the Warden Plaza and the creation of a cultural and recreation center next to it.
“He’s been working hard to help us find funding for that one,” Fierke said of the Warden Plaza project.
The group met with one representative of the United States Department of Agriculture who came to its hotel on Wednesday. On Thursday, there was another meeting with USDA officials. Market on Central was a topic during that session.
A previous Washington trip enabled Fort Dodge to successfully apply for a $97,000 grant for Market on Central. That money, received in 2016 and 2017, paid for demonstrations, training consumers in food best practices and advertising. Fierke said the city is eligible to apply for more money for Market on Central.