Technology Park to be developed in Stanton
Plans are underway for a technology park on the northeast edge of Stanton.
Kevin Cabbage, Farmers Mutual Telephone Company’s CEO and General Manager explained it all began two or three years ago because of the popularity of the Stanton Child Resource Center (SCRC).
“Because of their success, there is a constant waiting list,” said Cabbage.
Members of the SCRC 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 SCRC 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.
“Right to the north of the current daycare, the Stanton Area Industrial Foundation has owned the more than 20 acres 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,” said Cabbage. “We reached out to them to see if they’d have an interest in selling us a lot where a daycare could be constructed on. 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. Over the winter months, the boards came to an agreement they’d like to see the area developed into a technology park.
“Our neighboring communities have the industrial components already in place. There’s no need for another industrial park. With FMTC’s presence here, with the fiber network we have in place, and with our geographic location, it has a lot of attraction to a technology company looking for those types of attributes,” Cabbage said. “It’s something different that really isn’t in the area. We have the land, we already have the infrastructure in place, now we’re working on the additional infrastructure.”
Cabbage said they are working with an engineering firm to come up with all the components necessary to develop the site. He added, it has already been divided up into different sized parcels, including four perimeter lots suitable for large developments.
“We are in a great location for a technology company with Lincoln, Kansas City, Des Moines and Omaha in the general vicinity,” said Cabbage. “What we’ve got to do in Southwest Iowa is quit waiting for people to come in and solve our problems; let’s take control of it and make it happen. We have an opportunity to do that right now,” said Cabbage.
He continued to say Iowa is becoming known as a technology state and has already attracted several well-known technology companies.
Our goal is to develop Southwest Iowa,” Cabbage said. “Yes, it’s located in Stanton, but this is something that will benefit all of us.”
Not only are large technology companies eyeing the Hawkeye state, but there’s a lot of attractiveness to residing in rural areas as well.
“A lot of people are looking at getting out of the cities. They’d like to raise their children in a rural setting, but they need good jobs, housing and reliable daycare,” Cabbage explained. “We will start with the daycare and then build around it. This is just one component of an answer to growing Southwest Iowa. “
“Legacy Insurance Agency corporate office will be making their new home south of the new technology park. We have an area on the northern part of town that’s looking to be subdivided for housing. Housing is a topic, but the price of materials right now is interesting,” said Mickey Anderson, President of Stanton Area Industrial Foundation. “Our primary goal has been housing – building and rehabbing – the development of the technology park is something new to us, and we are excited about it.”
SCRC Board Member Shelia Mainquist said she views it as a “win-win situation.”
She said reliable childcare is an issue across the state of Iowa; not just in Montgomery County. The new SCRC facility will be able to accommodate 130 children; 50 more than what’s currently possible. Additionally, the way the new center will be built allows for expansion at a later date if needed.
The development of a technology park and expanded childcare options are just a couple of the exciting additions Stanton residents have accomplished lately. There are new businesses, events and opportunities being unveiled on a regular basis.
One ongoing project in Stanton is the ever-growing Greenbelt Trail, a walking trail, which will be tied in to the Technology Park and new SCRC. Eventually, Jenna Ramsey, Stanton’s Community Development Director, said the trail will lead to Anderson Park and Viking Lake, as well as loop around the community.
Those interested in donating toward the new Stanton Child Resource Center can send donations to the Stanton Community Foundation at P.O. Box 311, Stanton, IA 51573.