Local News

February 20, 2014

Osky delegation talks transportation at state capitol

DES MOINES — State lawmakers could “Note the Difference” in the capitol rotunda Tuesday morning as a delegation of local business and government officials traveled to Des Moines to talk about the community and transportation issues.

Members of the Mahaska Community Development Group set up tables and displays highlighting Oskaloosa while the Oskaloosa High School String Ensemble performed for those stopping by to talk Tuesday morning during Oskaloosa Legislative Day at the capitol.

“We’re focusing on transportation,” MCDG Executive Director Andrew Jensen said. “Improvements to Highway 63 is something we want to put out in front of people.”

Jensen said the visit to the capitol is “a big marketing day” for Oskaloosa and the delegation’s theme is “Note the Difference.”

Jensen said the delegation would talk about existing and planned transportation projects, local manufacturers, the area’s fiber-optic communications systems and Oskaloosa’s cultural attractions.

There were about 20 local business and government representatives in the Oskaloosa delegation, Jensen said.

Delegation members planned to talk to Iowa Department of Transportation commissioners Leonard Boswell and David Rose. Also, the group was slated to speak to Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, as well as Debbi Durham of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Jensen said.

Jensen said delegation members will discuss topics such as Highway 63 improvements, the northwest Oskaloosa bypass and an east side bypass as well as the regional airport.

Mahaska Health Partnership CEO Jay Christensen was part of the OCDG delegation.

“My role today is to support the Highway 63 Coalition,” Christensen said.

Christensen said he usually discusses health care topics with legislators at the Eggs & Issues forums.

“It’s all economic development,” Christensen said of Tuesday talking points. “Any economic development helps those who provide services.”

Oskaloosa Mayor Dave Krutzfeldt said he jumped at the chance to come to Des Moines Tuesday to talk about Oskaloosa.

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