The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

July 13, 2013

CRDC's work is important to all of us

Just seven months ago, the director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority during a stop in Clinton praised the region’s leaders for their continued development of the Lincolnway Industrial Rail and Air Park.

At that time, Debi Durham attended the Clinton Regional Development Corporation’s board meeting to discuss state economic development initiatives. Her words at that meeting: “Clinton’s railport project is considered to be the posterchild in the state for development projects.”

Stating that leaders in Des Moines are fully aware of the project, she said the railport is at the top of the list for economic development opportunities in Iowa, and that it differentiates the region and the state through unparalleled logistic amenities. Among them — providing industry with direct access to the Union Pacific Railroad’s mainline, a location that is within minutes of the Mississippi River and an area that offers the ability to move freight by barge via three local, active terminals, as well as over the road via US 30.

And there’s more. The railport has:

• Access to $40 billion U.S. market within a 100-mile radius;

• Rail-to-truck or barge transload capabilities;

• 500-plus acres of greenfield with potential of 1,000 acres or more;

• Unit train capacity;

• Abundant electric, gas and sewer capacity; and

• Interstate highway access within 20 minutes.

This project, which continues to bring in accolades, is the crown jewel of years of work by the CRDC, which represents not only Clinton, but Camanche and Low Moor in Iowa and the Illinois towns of Fulton, Albany, and Thomson on the other side of the Mississippi River.

Its mission for all of those communities is to enhance the regional business climate, attract new investment, expand existing industry and encourage new quality jobs such as the ones announced in March. In one day that month, area residents learned of Data Dimensions’ expansion and growth into the Lyons Business and Technology Park as well as the development of RAIL.ONE, which is building a new manufacturing facility for the production of concrete rail ties in the railport. RAIL.ONE will join the 10-million gallon biodiesel plant, Clinton County Bio-Energy, as a tenant in the railport.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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