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Corridor lobbies for lake, local road fund in Washington D.C. trip

Monday, February 5, 2007

A delegation of fourteen community and business leaders from the four-county region of the Iowa Lakes Corridor is heading to Washington, DC on Sunday. The second annual Washington, DC Summit, led by the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, is intended to build and strengthen relationships with Congressional representatives and their staff and to gain their support for key infrastructure projects needed to support economic development of the region.

Kathy Evert, president of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation said, "This year's agenda is a little larger than last, but includes key projects from all four counties." "We're excited about working together as a team to advocate on behalf of the entire region for these key projects," she said.

This year's list of priority projects includes:

* Spencer Beltway Project - changing language in the highway technical corrections bill to release the $5 million awarded in the 2005 Transportation Appropriation Bill

*Storm Lake Restoration Project

*Construct Sustainable Energy Education Training Center, Iowa Lakes Community College

*Upgrade of Highway 86 from Highway 9 to Minnesota border

*Upgrade of emergency communications equipment in Emmet County

*Paving project to address traffic safety to/from ethanol plant in Albert City

Trips like these are quite common among economic development and Chambers of Commerce in Iowa and around the country each year. While they may not produce immediate results, they do, eventually, according to Evert. "Last year, the group sought federal funding for emergency communication equipment in Dickinson County, and they were awarded a soft earmark in the FY 2006 budget appropriations," said Evert. The group also sought Iowa Congressional help in removing the delay of the opening of the VA outpatient clinic in Spirit Lake; it is now scheduled to be open this summer. Storm Lake has had great success in obtaining Federal funds for the lake restoration project. In 2005, Spencer was awarded a $5 million appropriation in the Transportation Bill reauthorization.

"We are excited about this year's trip and spending time again with Senator Grassley, Senator Harkin, Congressman King and Congressman Latham and their staff," said Evert. "Our region is fortunate to be well-represented in Washington, DC by these officials; they and their staff dedicate a considerable amount time, attention and energy to our visit." Appointments are also scheduled with Iowa's Congressmen Baley, Boswell and Loebsack.

The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is the regional economic development organization for Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson and Emmet Counties. Its mission is to foster, promote, aid and otherwise assist in the economic growth and development of the region.

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