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Palo Alto In ‘Home Base Iowa’ Initiative

By Staff | Nov 10, 2015

A proposal to enlist Emmetsburg and Palo Alto County as a Home Base Iowa community was presented to Emmetsburg City Council and the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors this month. Palo Alto County could join over 20 other counties in Iowa with that designation.

The Home Base Iowa Act positions Iowa as the leader in respect, support and employment for veterans. Passed by the Iowa Legislature in a broad bi-partisan manner and signed by Governor Terry Branstad on Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, the Home Base Iowa Act contains the following provisions.

Military Pension Income Tax Exemption

Military Homeownership Assistance Program

Permissive Veterans Preference

Occupational Licensure

License Plates

Education

Details on these provisions can be found at www.homebaseiowa.gov

There is a growing list of Home Base Iowa Communities who have committed to welcome transitioning military members and their families who are leaving military service and becoming Iowans.

Tom Manley, a 27-year member of ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve) and volunteer with Home Base Iowa, was in Emmetsburg last week to promote and explain the Home Base Iowa initiative.

He pointed out the four standards to become a Home Base Iowa Community:

1) Ten percent of the businesses in the designated area (Palo Alto County) become Home Base Iowa Businesses.

2) The community develops its own welcome/initiative package for veterans.

3) The community prominently displays the Home Base Iowa Community designation.

4) The community obtains a resolution of support from the appropriate local governing body.

“Different counties have different incentive packages,” said Manley. “It does not have to be huge, but businesses are encouraged to sign on to help support the initiative. Everyone has a personal interest, so we are encouraging businesses to get involved and be a part of this.”

Manley stated that incentives can range from a business gift card to percentage off items at a business.

“Iowa Lakes Community College is helping to educate military veterans,” he said. “Veterans are used to education to advance in rank, so they embrace the college.”

The Home Base Iowa Communities initiative designates communities as centers of opportunity for military veterans and further highlights Iowa’s statewide commitment to welcoming and employing veterans.

Iowa has a geat story to share nationwide, regularly ranking high on lists naming Iowa as a great place to live, work, play and raise a family.

Manley noted that the Iowa Department of Economic Development is telling its story about the state and state initiatives.

“We need to tell our story, too,” he said. “We want to show that we’re supportive. The whole state can come together in this great program.”

To express support for the Home Base Iowa Communities initiative, contact a member of the Emmetsburg City Council and members of the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors.

More information at www.homebaseiowa.gov