Dallas County Sites Recognized as Two of Iowa’s First Certified Sites


April 28, 2014 – DES MOINES  Today, Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor  Kim Reynolds announced the first four industrial sites to achieve certification through the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) certified site program.  Two Dallas County sites were among the four. The other sites certified are located in Fort Dodge and Iowa Falls.

The Van Meter Vision Park, located in Van Meter, and the West Metro Rail Park, located in Dexter, have both received the certified site designation. Receiving this designation has required extensive work at the City and County level, with guidance from the Greater Dallas County Development Alliance. The sites will be marketed to separate industries, with the Van Meter Vision Park targeting data centers, and the West Metro Rail Park targeting distribution and warehousing projects.

“The site near Dexter is very unique. It offers direct interstate access to I-80, as well as having direct rail access. We believe this certified site in Dallas County has tremendous upside for an interested company,” said Mark Hanson, Dallas County Supervisor.

 “I would like to thank the Governor for his leadership and commitment to bringing new jobs to Iowa, the IEDA for implementing the Site Certification Program, the Site Certification consultants for providing valuable feedback throughout the certification process and the Van Meter Team (GDCDA, Veenstra and Kimm, and City Staff) for all of their hard work and dedication to make our Site Certification become a reality,” said Mayor Allan Adams of Van Meter. “I believe the Certified Site Program will give Iowa the edge in attracting businesses looking to locate in the Midwest.  For Van Meter specifically, having a certified shovel-ready site will put us in a position to be successful in attracting and landing a new business in our city.  It will create new job opportunities and will have other downstream economic impacts as those employees, if not already Van Meter residents, will be looking to re-locate to our wonderful community.”

In an effort to address the lack of project-ready industrial sites in the state, the IEDA rolled out the Iowa Certified Site Program in May 2012. It is an independent, third-party certification program that uses the nationally recognized site selection firm of McCallum Sweeney Consulting (MSC) as the sole certifying agent.  The Iowa Certified Site Program is designed to consider a combination of national site location standards as well as Iowa’s natural assets and industry needs of the state’s targeted sectors.

“Creating jobs and increasing family incomes for Iowans is my administration’s top priority,” said Gov. Branstad. “With the announcement that four Iowa sites have gone through a rigorous certification process to be considered ‘development-ready,’ we are moving Iowa to the top of the list for projects that are looking for a home. Those projects mean more Iowa jobs.”

Site certification is one of the fastest growing trends in the site selection business, and by introducing certified sites to the market Iowa is better able to compete for large scale projects.  By going through this rigorous process, developers -- working closely with their local officials, utility partners and consultants -- are better prepared to market their sites with specific site-related information and community data.  All site due diligence is completed and resulting issues are mitigated, making the site “risk-free” and thus accelerating the development schedule.

“Hats off to Fort Dodge, Van Meter, Dexter and Iowa Falls for dedicating nearly two year to this process,” said Lt. Gov. Reynolds. “Though our administration works tirelessly to attract businesses and jobs to our state, Governor Branstad and I know the final sale is made at the local level. I commend these Iowa communities for time well spent that will pay dividends locally and for our state as a whole.”

The four sites certified today were among the eight applicants in the first round kicked off in May 2012. After working through the rigorous certification process, these four sites have met the standards of the Iowa Certified Site Program and have now achieved that designation. 

Three subsequent application rounds have been opened since the program was established, and 15 additional sites are currently working their way through various phases of the program.  The next round of applications will be accepted in July for the following categories:


General Industrial Site -- 50 - 249 contiguous acres

Large Site -- 250 – 499 contiguous acres

Super Site -- 500 – 999 contiguous acres

Mega Site -- 1,000+ contiguous acres

General Industrial Park -- 100+ acres with one site ≥ 50 acres

Super Park -- 500+ acres with one site ≥ 250 acres


For more information about the Iowa Certified Site Program, visit www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/SiteLocation/CertifiedSite.

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