GCDC, elected officials discuss a ‘business plan’ for growth

Members of the Jefferson city council, Greene County board of supervisors, Greene County Development Corporation and Grow Greene met informally Monday with a civil engineer whose expertise is helping communities develop plans for growth.

The meeting with Terry Lutz, president and CEO of McClure Engineering Co of Des Moines, was facilitated by GCDC members Kim Rueter and Sid Jones. It came after a 44-unit rental housing project was stymied by a short deadline in applying for a state-funded loan that would have completed the financing needed for the project. Discussions of the loan application brought to the forefront a need for comprehensive planning for the needs that accompany growth.

Jones on Tuesday briefed the GCDC board and community representatives on the meeting with Lutz. He named Fort Dodge, Lamoni and Woodbury County as entities for which Lutz has developed plans. Lutz approaches cities and counties as businesses and writes the plans accordingly. He seeks to build and solidify in writing a “culture of development.” According to McClure Engineering’s website, Lutz “has grown McClure Engineering Co by focusing on building strong communities.”

Lutz agreed to review information already gathered by GCDC and the city of Jefferson and to interview elected city and county officials to determine their willingness to implement strategies for growth. If he finds all necessary people to be “on board,” and if the city of Jefferson, the county and Grow Greene are all willing to participate financially in the process, he would be available to create the development plan. The cost of his services would be $40,000 to $50,000, although GCDC executive director Ken Paxton said that fee could be less, depending on the relevance of information already gathered.



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