MASON CITY — The head of the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation says the recent Destination Iowa awards to Mason City, Clear Lake and Cerro Gordo County will help address some of the concerns leaders have for the future.
Chad Schreck says the residents of the county should be proud of the $4.5 million grant to Mason City and Cerro Gordo County for the bike park and trails project, and the $4.37 million awarded to Clear Lake to put toward the Surf District project. “Kudos for the community and the planning process. When we talk about pulling together over $9 million…almost 10% of this statewide funding is coming to our communities for these Destination Iowa projects, we make up about 1.8% of the population as a county. That’s a big deal, and that’s a really cool thing, and it happened because we have people planning, putting things in place. So we were prepared, we were ready to go, and that’s a really big thing that we cannot lose sight of.”
Schreck says these grants will help address north-central Iowa’s dwindling population and bring people to the area, helping to boost the area’s available workforce. “The reason we want to do placemaking, the reason we want to do housing and all these things, is ultimately to address our workforce and our population. I’m not going to belabor the numbers, but we’ve lost population for 50-60 years. Luckily we’ve started to steady a lot of that out, but we want to start turning the tide and going that other direction so we can help our employers, help our communities, help our schools, all those things.”
Schreck made his comments during the “State of North Iowa” event on Thursday in Mason City. You can watch the full event below.