To the editor:
Let's talk about the positives!
New Shoots LLC recently invested about $2 million in facilities in and near Emmetsburg. They are implementing an exciting business plan and have chosen to anchor the storefront of their venture in our downtown area.
Project Liberty is breaking ground this week on a $200 million+ project that, upon its successful completion, will likely draw people from all over the world to Emmetsburg, Iowa. In the Spring 2012 edition of Vital magazine, POET CEO Jeff Broin writes "It's also the Emmetsburg community at large, which has embraced its role as a pioneer in domestic energy production and made those of us at POET feel so welcome". What a wonderful tribute to the citizens of Palo Alto County and the area farming community.
ECDC just sold its second lot in our business park and Ag Partners will soon be constructing a new facility there.
Farmers Mutual Insurance just announced they are building a new office in our downtown. The availability of those two lots was the result of the Chamber, ECDC, Storm Committee, PACGDC, and the State of Iowa coordinating efforts and removing two existing buildings. This was a 1.5 year project that will result in a dramatic improvement to the downtown area.
Kerber Milling Company is about to tear down two older buildings and begin construction on another major addition to their business.
Emmetsburg Care Center is breaking ground on a 9 unit expansion to their facility.
This summer the Bike Trail committee will be breaking ground on the 1st phase of the new bike trail and they have secured the funding for both this and the 2nd phase which will begin construction in 2016.
We are close to finalizing a downtown faade program that, in cooperation with the business owners, will invest around $800,000 giving our historic business district a face-lift.
In the last two years there have been 25 lots along Five Island Lake sold for more than $2 million. This summer alone there are 6 new homes being constructed in the 3 growing housing developments located along our lake.
And I apologize for the additional projects I've probably neglected to mention. Ask yourself how many Iowa communities would trade places with Emmetsburg? How many other communities have this many positive things happening virtually all at the same time? And how does a community look to the future when so many positive things are happening?
We have a proposal for the citizens of Emmetsburg to consider; the Five Island Community Center. You have probably read about some conversations going back and forth on this project. Right now not everyone agrees with what that vision should be, and that's okay. It means people care about what is happening in this community, and most of us want to work towards a positive solution. We would like to share with you the vision, the background and the plan for the current proposal. We want to listen to the feedback for that plan and make any adjustments that may be needed. And when we have a consensus, we want to ask you for your support.
Tony Kauten, Kelly Bay and I are eager to visit with you or your group if you would like to learn more about this project. We are part of the steering committee for this project and are interested in hearing your feedback. And there are many more informed people available and interested in visiting with you. Please contact us, or City Hall, to make arrangements or ask questions.
We have a bright future ahead. We want to work together for the betterment of the entire community. We would like you to help make this portion of this vision a reality.
(signed) Kirk Haack