SIMPCO kicks off hwy 20 corridor economic development study

SIMPCO kicks off Highway 20 corridor economic development study

By late this fall the years of work to expand Highway 20 into four lanes across Iowa should finally be done. And now one Siouxland organization is looking towards the economic future of that expanded corridor.

The Siouxland Metropolitan Planning Council or SIMPCO held its first meeting on that topic in Correctionville tonight.

The meeting was for SIMPCO to begin its US Highway 20 Corridor Economic Development Study.

The main purpose of this study will be to promote commerce and industry in around a half-dozen small communities along the Highway 20 corridor.

At tonight's meeting, SIMPCO staff passed out a survey, to identify a "unique character and economic development strategy for each community."

"Really, the best answers are from the people who live in those communities to tell us, why their community is support important to them, and why people should visit there, why people should live there, why people should start their businesses there. It comes from the best place, from the people in the community itself," said Michelle Bostinelos, SIMPCO Executive Director.

The study is also an opportunity to create more jobs, boost economic development opportunities, and establish partnerships between stakeholders.

"We're just laying the foundation of the plan right now. And as we're studying this, as we're going to go through, we're going to have a couple more meetings, and our hope is by the end, we'll have a really good snapshot, of what type of industries, what type of jobs, what type of tourism we want to bring to this area," said Bostinelos.

SIMPCO will host another meeting July 18th at 5 pm. That meeting will include sessions on economic development partners, community identity and transportation utilities.

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