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Emmetsburg Rated Among Iowa’s Top 40 Communities

By Staff | Jul 10, 2008

Accolades have again been bestowed upon the community of Emmetsburg. Earlier, in 2007, Emmetsburg was listed as one of the Top 100 Places to Live by the Relocate-America Web site. In June, Keep Iowa Beautiful released a list of Iowa’s Top 40 Communities. Out of the 1,181 communities located throughout the state of Iowa, Emmetsburg was ranked at number 35.

According to Gerald F. Schnepf, Executive Director with Keep Iowa Beautiful, each Iowa community was visited and evaluated on image and appearance from November 1998 through November 2003. The criteria used to evaluate the communities was based on appearance of natural features of the area (topography, trees, bodies of water, unique features, etc.) and man-made features (buildings, streets, landscaping, signage, community layout, etc.). Less visual factors like economy, cultural opportunities, “quality” of the residents, crime rate, educational levels, etc. were not included in the evaluation.

“The evaluations were completed by one person using the same criteria each time, so there was consistency in the evaluation process,” explained Schnepf. “Each community received a numerical score ranging from the most attractive community to the lowest or least attractive.”

The Top 40 Communities-starting with the best-include: Pella, Mt. Vernon, South Amana, Westwood, Rickardsville, McGregor, Luxemburg, Keomah Village, Holy Cross, Elkader, Decorah, Ashbury, Arnolds Park, Keystone, Cresco, Amana, Waverly and University Heights. Also on the list are New Vienna, Guttenberg, Clear Lake, Cedar Rapids, Cascade, Bellevue, Orange City, West Branch, Templeton, Remsen, Oskaloosa, Manning, Lake View, Ireton, Fairbank, Emmetsburg, Dyersville, Clarinda, Atlantic, North Buena Vista, and Lansing.

“This is not necessarily an evaluation that is endorsed by Keep Iowa Beautiful, but it does represent one person’s evaluation of the image or appearance of Iowa’s communities,” Schnepf concluded. “I’ve chosen to share this information to encourage discussion and debate. I hope it motivates action to clean-up and place every community in Iowa in the ‘Top 40’.”

A full listing of how each of Iowa’s 1,181 communities rank can be found on the Keep Iowa Beautiful Web site at http://www.keepiowabeautiful.com.