Deal could ease industrial park access
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
OTTUMWA — The potential sale of a few score square feet of grass does not, on the surface, sound like a big step for economic development. This one is bigger than it appears.
The industrial park in northwest Ottumwa and the Helgerson Flats expansion could be a major source of business growth in the years to come. Certification of Helgerson Flats helps make it more attractive to potential businesses looking at moving to Ottumwa or expanding operations.
Access, though, can be a challenge. The roads are fine for smaller vehicles like cars or even small trucks. But when a semi comes through, there are a couple of choke points where they have to make very tight turns.
One of those points, located at North Court Street and Fox Sauk Road, may have a solution. Sharon Stroh, director of the Ottumwa Economic Development Corp., said tweaking the turn could involve a deal with the Iowa National Guard.
The land under the industrial park’s sign is owned by the Guard as part of the armory in Ottumwa. Changing the intersection means buying a bit of the land, and the Guard is interested in the possibility.