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Kellogg questioned about Tama County Economic Development

August 23, 2018
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Tama County Economic Development Director Heath Kellogg came under some questioning at a recent Toledo City Council work session and shot back charging "There's a north - south divide (in the county)" pointing to what he said was little or no participation in economic development efforts from those in the south.

The council work session preceded the regular Aug. 13 meeting.

At an earlier, July 23 meeting, the Toledo Council tabled action on the Tama County Economic bill totaling $4,682 for yearly dues for fiscal 2018-19. Each city in the county is billed two dollars per person based upon the Census count.

Article Photos

Heath Kellogg
Tama County Economic Development Director

Toledo Mayor John Lloyd opened the work session discussion by saying he believed the council was expecting yearly updates from Kellogg and had not been receiving them.

Kellogg explained the Economic Development Commission was set up in 2001 in Tama County and has worked under those guidelines.

"It's (been) almost 20 years and Toledo has a lot of different things happening," council member Darvin Graham said. "?Toledo looks different than 20 years ago..."

Graham also commented "Things are really stagnant for economic development. my goal (would be) to bring us together. I recognize there are a lot of obstacles - something needs to move forward."

Concerning the Hobart Restoration proposal for the closed Iowa Juvenile Home property in Toledo, council member Brian Sokol told Kellogg," It seems like we were left out."

Tama City Council member Emily Babinat and Meskwaki interim Economic Development Director Shoshonis Brown both commented during the session.

Babinat, in part, called for more contact by economic development with local businesses and Brown asked for notice of economic development meetings to be provided and said she had received none.

Kellogg maintained the issues being brought up were largely by entities not having representation on the commission which he said were needed to work togehter.

He admitted review of the development operation could be warranted and some changes may be necessary.

In his weekly column appearing in The Tama News-Herald on Aug. 17, Kellogg wrote about three recent workshops held across the state. "Our Economic Development offices invited everyone in the county to attend these workshops and not one person from the entire 17,119 Tama County population attended but me," he wrote.

"We are just a vehicle. You're like a fire truck left in the dealership. You paid for it but never came to get it," Kellogg said at one point on Monday.

This prompted Mayor Lloyd to respond at the end of the work session, "We want to keep the fire truck. I'm not seeing if we agree how we want to get our moneys worth."



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