Potential Opportunity For Tourism
To the Editor:
A Day in History: We must Plan for the Future
Let us Develop
Our Potential Now
The excitement is over; I did not see it, but what looked like tornado winds just passed over Emmetsburg. The evening is to finish in an hour, or so, peacefully.
For me, I got up early in the morning. At 9:30 a Chamber of Commerce coffee was to meet in the Activity Room of the Palo Alto County Hospital. The special occasion was to meet the new Administrator, who was to take over her duties Monday morning, May 7. This occasion as to meet the new administrator. She was introduced.
Chamber of Commerce people and Hospital crew gave the new administrator a very high attendance show of support. The Activity Room was full. A businessman from Spencer was also here. He appeared to be wanting to know how our new Hospital Administration might be fitting in with Health Services in the Spencer area.
This was the monthly social gathering of the business people of Emmetsburg. It was not scheduled for the conduction of any business. The special business for this meeting was to welcome the New Hospital Administrator.
I landed in the Emmetsburg area on Sept. 1, 1958. I was assigned a duty to assess the soils of our area. It was to make a detailed map of our agricultural resources. People knew our resources, but they did not know the exact quality of our resources.
I will give you a brief summary of what I saw today. I saw a very complex hospital, health care system. That was not here when I came here in 1958. The hospital had moved from near the railroad track, now where the Police Station sits. It probably had a staff of 20 people. I have a house once owned by a doctor. He had plans for a third floor operating room. This plan never developed.
As I have observed, much community progress has been made since the year I came, 1958, to make an assessment of our area. I came to make an assessment of our physical assessment of our soils. We have potential. “This is our land.” Now, our plans need direction.
My mission resulted in a complete assessment of the Land Resources of our area. It is now a publication, one of some 2,300 of counties in the United States, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. But have we fully used this potential? The answer is, “NO.”
In my half century of residence of Emmetsburg, I have seen a growth of 26 percent. First, let me emphasize this was not growth in population. It was urban development. It was not businesses established. Main Street is less populated than when I came. Business buildings have been removed. We have a complete new school structure. We also have a new Health Care System. That was initiated in 1964.
I can see area growth in Emmetsburg. I can see a magnitude of further growth in Emmetsburg. Present economic plans, as I have seen, have not even touched on this potential. I will take you to Branson, Missouri. They were not prepared. They were not ready. Now, they are the entertainment center of the nation. I am saying, we are not prepared. Branson is supporting a nationally known entertainment system.
We need to specialize in our talents. Agriculture is our supporting industry. I cannot wait to see development of tourism in our area. I can see a potential opportunity for development in this area. We have five lakes in our area, and a wonderful landscape. Our geology is ideal. We have water, and we have sunshine. Ideal for human expansion.
But, we are not ready. Our lake is not accessible. We need public access. Two legal words are important. They are “ingress” and “egress”. You and I need to be able to enjoy our lake. Then we can tell tourists what we have. For assistance, I can see assistance from the legislature. People need access to our natural beauties, those natural lakes provided environments of the past, preserved for the present.
The process is community development working with small business.
We need to spread the need to spread the words, the need for added public access to our natural beauties. The potential is here.
I want a fair share of every lakeshore in Palo Alto County free to ingress and egress. We call this right for our highway system “Eminent Domain.”
We need adequate transportation to the “high water mark” of our natural lakes.
(signed) Loren M. Greiner