Ramsey updates supervisors on a technology park in Stanton
Efforts to complete construction on a technology park on the northeast edge of Stanton have taken another step forward.
The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on issuing a subdivision plat for the Stanton Technology Park Subdivision at its meeting Jan. 31.
Plans for the park were initially sparked by the popularity of the Stanton Resource Center (SRC), and the constant waiting list. Members of the SRC board started working on plans for expanding and renovating the current facility. However, the cost was estimated at more than $3 million and it was met with some resistance, somewhat putting the plan on hold.
And then COVID hit, which forced SRC board members to look further at its plans for the future. This included a facility that didn’t cost as much and one that was pandemic friendly, leading them into the direction of building a new facility at a new location.
The Stanton Industrial Foundation has owned the more than 20 acres right to the north of the current daycare for many years as a way to protect the entrance to the community, as well as look for opportunities as what to develop on that land. Officials reached out to them to see if they’d have an interest in selling a lot where a daycare could be constructed. They were, and discussions started.
With additional people being brought into the mix, talks soon developed into creating a master plan for the entire 20+ acres, including the infrastructure (water, sewer, fiber optics and roads) needed for the daycare. Later, the boards came to an agreement to have the area developed into a technology park.
Stanton Community Development Director Jenna Ramsey and members of the SRC Board and Stanton Area Industrial Foundation were present at the supervisors meeting. Ramsey said the SRC would be the first business in the technology park.
“The location on Highway 34 offers easy access, and is approximately 40 miles to I-29 and I-80. The park can be developed in full or subdivided to meet the developer’s needs. The park will be served with robust, reliable, and redundant fiber optic symmetrical broadband service through Farmers Mutual Telephone Company, which will accommodate business heavily reliant on technology and connectivity,” Ramsay said.
While a specific timeline has not been settled, Ramsey said work is already visible at the site.
“Currently, if anyone has driven by, they’ve seen the dirt work, and that is the start of construction on it. The first focus is getting the daycare complete. Bids are set to go out in the spring, with work to begin this summer. We are also working on applying for some grants for the road that will go up to the cemetery and the technology park. The total project will take up to three to five years,” Ramsey explained.
Ramsay further added they have put out feelers to draw interested parties to the location to build.
“We have been listed on a statewide network looking to attract businesses. We also are working with the Iowa Area Development Group. Recently, we were given a Ripple Effect Award in the amount of $8,500 for a 3D model to help us with some renderings and 3D capabilities to advertise even more,” stated Ramsey.
Zoning administrator Barry Byers said the Montgomery County Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved a recommendation to issue a subdivision plat for the project at its own meeting, and there had been no negative oral or written comments. Also, the zoning would remain the same for now.
“It’s zoned for agricultural, and will remain that way for now, as schools are allowed in agricultural districts. It won’t have to be rezoned until lots are sold for development, at which point it will likely move to commercial zoning,” Byers advised.
No oral or written comments were received at the public hearing. The supervisors approved the first reading issuing a subdivision plat for the Stanton Technology Park Subdivision, and waived the second and third readings.
The supervisors also approved a 28-E agreement between the Iowa Department of Transportation and Montgomery County for issuance of driver’s licenses.