Buena Vista County's own portal to Washington, D.C., officially opened yesterday as Congressman Steve King cut the ribbon for his new congressional office located at 607 Lake Ave.
"It's quite a fantastic feeling to be opening the district headquarters here," King told a large crowd gathered for the ribbon cutting.
Storm Lake was chosen as the main office for King's congressional district, which includes 32 counties in western Iowa stretching from the Missouri to Minnesota borders.
King said chosing Storm Lake as the center of his Iowa offices was a good decision.
"It's a big task to try to reach all of the district," he said.
Storm Lake is also close to two of his top infrastructure goals: a four-lane Hwy. 20 and the dredging of Storm Lake. King said he can't promise results, but said he will dedicate himself to working toward them.
"You know we're out there working diligently for this," he said. "We will not forget the honor of serving you."
David Ehler, long-time city clerk for Holstein, will oversee all of King's congressional offices in Iowa's 5th District. He is based in the Storm Lake office.
He said a congressional office serves as a way for citizens to get their voice heard in D.C.
"It's an important part of our duties to help do what we can to alleviate the problems or requests constuinets have," Ehler said.
King said that is an important part of his congressional offices.
"We know there's a lot of red tape when dealing with the federal government, and we want to try to do the best to cut the tape," he said.
There's a wide variety of issues King's office will deal with, Ehler said, from obtaining military medals, dealing with VA or Social Security problems, and trying to secure federal grants. Or it might be simply help with visas or passports.
Once King's offices in western Iowa get up and running, it won't be out of the ordinary for employees to be working with upwards of 100 cases.
"We already have 30-some cases and we're just getting started," Ehler said.
King's office is located at 607 Lake Ave. The phone number is 712-732-4127.