By John Speer
In a press release issued on Tuesday, May 8, the Meskwaki Nation / Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa announced plans to build what was described as a full-service travel center on the U.S. Highway 30 Expressway on the Settlement west of Toledo.
Present Meskwaki Trading Post near the main entrance to the Meskwaki Bingo•Casino•Hotel complex.
Currently the Tribe operates the Meskwaki Trading Post which features a convenience store and offers gasoline and diesel fuel. A portion of the Trading Post is devoted to a "smoke shop" offering cigarettes and tobacco products.
The new travel plaza will be funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the amount of $600,000.
"I would certainly like to thank HUD and our grant writing team, which included an outside consultant," Larry Lasley, Meskwaki Nation / Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa Economic Development director is quoted in the news release. "This grant award is a very important piece of our financing puzzle for a project that promotes employment opportunities for our community members and will be a huge complement to the Tribe's economic interests along the U.S. Highway 30 corridor.
The new travel center is expected ot retain 28 existing jobs and add eight new ones according to the release.
"The Tribe is excited to construct the Travel Plaza to attract more business and create more employment in the area" added Frank Black Cloud, Chairman of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi said in the release.
It will include a convenience store, car and truck fueling stations, a branch bank, sandwich shop, truck stop and a truck wash / mechanic bay.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $56 million in grants to promote affordable housing and economic development in Native American communities the news release states.
No timeline for the project was announced.
The news release stated, "Currently, Meskwaki is performing Environmental Impact reviews and will be working with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers regarding the development near the flood plain."