Sarah Thompson, Director of Rural Development for the Iowa City Area Development (ICAD) group, sees development and growth coming for Lone Tree and Hills after meeting with leaders in …
Sarah Thompson, Director of Rural Development for the Iowa City Area Development (ICAD) group, sees development and growth coming for Lone Tree and Hills after meeting with leaders in those communities over recent months.
Thompson provided the Johnson County Board of Supervisors with an update on the county’s rural areas during the board’s work session Dec. 28.
Thompson said she met with a group that has been formed in Lone Tree to address improvements downtown and around other parts of the city.
And in Hills, Thompson said the city has joined the statewide Hometown Pride program and at its last meeting began to rank projects it was considering. Jessica Johnson, a community development specialist at the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG), is the Hills community coach.
“They have a few things that I think they would like to get done in Hills and I’m excited about that,” Thompson said.
Thompson said she also visited officials from the Open Gates group, which is a collection of businesses north of Kalona, including Kalona Organics and Kalona SuperNatural, Kalona Creamery, Farmers Creamery, Kalona Direct and Frytown Properties.
Thompson also met with a group that is trying to restore the historic schoolhouse in Sharon Township. The school was built in 1890.
“I don’t know if we’re going to be able to help them with resources. I’m hoping we’re going to be able to find grants, something available to them,” Thompson said.
At its Dec. 29 formal session, the board approved job descriptions for three jobs that will be based at the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm: Local Food and Farm Manager, Local Food Assistant, and Event and Program Assistant. The positions are becoming more detailed with the Poor Farm expanding into activities in the spring and with Project Manager V Fixmer-Oraiz leaving the Poor Farm to become a county supervisor, beginning Jan. 1.
At its Jan. 3 organizational meeting, Supervisor Lisa Green-Douglass was appointed chair for 2023 and Supervisor Rod Sullivan was appointed vice chair.
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