JEFFERSON: It’s becoming an annual tradition.
Gov. Kim Reynolds is pointing to economic-development progress in Jefferson as a model for rural Iowa during a tour of the community.
It is the fourth-such event Reynolds has held in Jefferson in recent years.
“It just works; this is so great,” Reynolds said June 17 to a crowd of business and community leaders gathered in Jefferson at Gravitate, a new co-working space.
The primary mission: to show how state grants have leveraged local funds and contributions for progress. From 2013 to 2022, Greene County has received $5 million in state grants toward the funding of $15 million in local projects, including $470,000 in grant funding for the Greene County Early Learning Center. Jacque Andrew keyed that discussion.
“A big piece of this is partnerships,” local development leader Chris Deal said.
Reynolds viewed a number of local projects from the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower, which received a 2016 State of Iowa Community Attraction & Tourism (CAT) Grant of $87,000.
Several members of the community talked with Reynolds at the top of the belltower.
“Pat Richards with the Belltower Community Foundation talked about the award, the Iowa top attraction award,” Deal said, adding that Peg Raney talked about local women coming together to give life to the Tea Garden.
Amanda Bills discussed plans for The Public House restaurant and brew pub. Greene County Development Corporation President Sid Jones talked about housing initiatives in the region.
Reynolds took questions from the media later at Gravitate, including one about her views of development in Greene County.
“When you guys put your mind to it, you get it done,” Reynolds said. “It’s not just one or two. I think the number of projects that you’re working on, and the vision. You are working on one and it is about to be done, and then you are looking at the next three. I know a lot these people that are in this room, and they drivers and they are doers, and so I am not surprised.”