Iowa's top economic development official saw a community she described as ready for future growth when she visited Fort Dodge Monday.
''I see bright days ahead for Fort Dodge,'' said Debi Durham, the director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
Durham said that, in addition to infrastructure, the city has a new spirit of collaboration that will make growth possible.
''Economic development is too hard not to have everyone pulling in the same direction,''she said.
Durham started her day in Fort Dodge by greeting 69 new Cargill employees coming to work for the first time at the company's plant in the North Central Ag Industrial Park. She also visited the CJ Bio America construction site, and the facilities of Silgan Containers Manufacturing Corp. and C & S Products Co. Inc.
The Ag Industrial Park can potentially be the site of $1 billion worth of business, according to Durham. She described the park as a ''premier location.''
Teamwork between private entities and local government has improved, in Durham's opinion.
She said she was impressed with the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, which was created in 2011 by merging the former Development Corporation of Fort Dodge and Webster County with the Fort Dodge Area Chamber of Commerce.
Durham said the Webster County Board of Supervisors has taken a far more active role in helping to grow the community. She said in the past the board was ''missing in action'' on economic development.
''Look at them now,'' she said. ''Your supervisors are actively engaged in economic development.''
Durham said that the community is now in the ''upper tier for being development ready.''