Staying Relavent In A Competative World

Oskaloosa and Mahaska County business owners and elected officials met with Senate and House leadership to discuss the needs of infrastructure in the area.

Oskaloosa and Mahaska County business owners and elected officials met with Senate and House leadership to discuss the needs of infrastructure in the area.

Des Moines, Iowa – Staying relevant in today’s political environment is key to a community’s survival, and local business and government leaders visited the Iowa Capitol with staying relevant in mind.

Highway 63 may be just a highway for some, but for the business community it’s a lifeline of commerce. Those trucks that utilize the infrastructure bring agricultural, building and other materials in, while providing a way to transport manufactured goods, to the rest of the world, out. Businesses like Cargill are forced to pay premiums to have products delivered because of the deterioration and inefficient travel afforded by the current highway.

Andrew Jensen, MCDG Executive Director said the group hoped to continue the work of expressing the need for transportation improvements to the region. “The other thing is to promote Mahaska County and Oskaloosa as a region and to make people aware of the great things we have in the area.”

An Oskyroo from On The Green was the lure to bring lawmakers to the table. Once there, community members like Jensen could inform those individuals about Oskaloosa and Mahaska County. “Being able to make those relationships with legislators is important,” said Jensen of the importance of making long term connections and relationships that will help benefit the area.

“We emphasis how great Oskaloosa is and the things we have, and then we say, but to keep our community strong we also need transportation infrastructure improvements,” Jensen said.

Former Congressman Leonard Boswell is now a member of the states transportation commission. It’s an appointed group of individuals that helps to outline the Iowa Department of Transportation’s five year plan. That plan is something that helps guide the spending and projects the state will undertake in the near future.

“At least I understand the project they are working on between Oskaloosa and Pella and the connection to the airport and the 63 improvement,” said Boswell, who was in on the initial conversation while still a member of Congress.

During his time in Congress, Boswell brought out the Transportation Chairman, Congressman Oberstar, to be a part of the initial talks between Oskaloosa and Pella over the Highway 63 project. The group was informed, at that point, of the value being placed on intermodel transportation, which includes air and rail.

“I think it’s a needed project. There’s a lot of economic impact coming out of that part of our state and what they’ve [Oskaloosa and Pella] got in mind is reasonable and ought to be done,” said Boswell.

Boswell said that the intermodel part of transportation planning is very important. “What you accomplish is you facilitate different types of transportation in the same local and it saves a lot of money.”

Boswell says he believes the Highway 63 project is in a favorable situation at this point, “it just needs to keep moving.”

 

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