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Supervisors get Corridor update

By Staff | Jul 30, 2008

The Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday received an update on economic development efforts by Iowa Lakes Corridor Executive Director Kathy Evert.

Ranking high on the Corridor’s efforts would be an Aug. 12 meeting with the Iowa Department of Transportation Commission in Sioux City regarding the condition of Iowa Highway 9.

At that meeting, Corridor representatives will present their case on Highway 9 as well as Iowa 86 and U.S. 20. Residents living along or near all three highways have cited not only greater economic development potential with better roads, but concerns with safety given the routes’ current condition. Despite large potholes and craters in Highway 9 just east of Estherville, improvement of the road is not on the DOT’s five-year plan.

Supervisor Roger Anderson asked Evert what results she expects will come from the meeting.

Evert said hopefully the commission will be more aware of the need for improvements. “As a region, these are the top projects for us,” Evert said, noting that Iowa’s federal delegation is behind the improvements.

In other matters, Evert noted that the Corridor has exceeded its goal of creating 150 new jobs. She said seven businesses have pledged 241 new hires and another company has indicated it will add another 71.

Evert also previewed the third-annual Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute that will be held next week. This year, a similar component will be added for middle school students. Evert said there are 32 slots for the Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute and the University of Iowa alone has 100 applicants.

Evert also highlighted a number of conferences that Corridors employees will attend to promote the area.