AMES - A nearly $1.5 million state grant awarded Tuesday will help pay for extending roads into a planned new industrial park on the east side of Fort Dodge.
That industrial park will be located on 140 acres of land north of the Decker Truck Line Inc. campus on Fifth Avenue South.
The grant money awarded Tuesday by the Iowa Transportation Commission will help to pay for extending First Avenue South and South 42nd Street into the complex.
The commission approved a Revitalize Iowa's Sound Economy grant of $1,450,268 or 50 percent of the costs, whichever is less. The cost of the road work has been estimated at about $3 million.
Commission members approved the grant unanimously without discussion.
Prior to their vote, Mayor Matt Bemrich told the commissioners that the street work represents exactly the kind of project the RISE program was designed to support.
''It definitely fits into what RISE stands for,'' Bemrich said during the commission meeting at the Department of Transportation headquarters in Ames.
''We're trying to revitalize the economy in Fort Dodge and Webster County and transportation is playing a key role,'' he said.
Bemrich said the new industrial park will be occupied by businesses that will provide services to the manufacturing plants in the ag industrial park west of Fort Dodge called Iowa's Crossroads of Global Innovation.
The grant money will help pay for extending South 42nd Street 570 feet north of its current endpoint near the Decker Truck Line Inc. facility. It will also pay for extending First Avenue South 3,600 feet east of its current endpoint not far from Fort Frenzy, 3232 First Ave. S.
Following the commission meeting, Bemrich said the plan is to begin constructing the road extensions this summer.
The new industrial park will consist of 21 lots of varying sizes to meet the demands of light industrial businesses. Dennis Plautz, the chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, has said there is an increased demand for such lots, but very few of them available.
''We're seeing people coming in and looking for this type of property,'' Plautz said.
Once completed, the industrial park could be the site of 800 jobs and $63 million worth of new tax value, city officials said when plans for the site were announced in January.
The property is owned by Decker Investments Inc., of Fort Dodge. McClure Engineering Co., of Fort Dodge, is preparing the plans for the site.
Creating the park will require an estimated $6.8 million worth of infrastructure, which includes water lines, sanitary sewers and storm sewers in addition to the roads.