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Published by trosenboom, 2022-05-13 12:08:07

67th Washington Conference Book

67thAnnual
Siouxland/Washington

Conference

May18&19,2022

Iowa
Nebraska
SouthDakota

2022

Iowa, Nebraska, & South Dakota

OUR NUMBERS

SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

For over a decade, the Siouxland tri-state region of Iowa,
Nebraska, and South Dakota has consistently ranked in the top
three of Site Selection’s annual rankings for economic
development projects.

This impressive streak reflects what successful businesses
have known for quite some time - Siouxland offers three
distinct states, with three unique business climates.

Below we have highlighted many of the Siouxland area projects that have contributed to the
growth of our community over the past six months. A brief description of each one is included.

Dakota Dunes and City of North Sioux City
named 2021 Small Community of the Year

Dakota Dunes & North Sioux City, South Dakota

Dakota Dunes and North Sioux City were both
recipients of Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan
Planning Council’s 2021 Community of the Year Award
because of their successful disaster recovery,
transportation planning, community planning and
economic development.

Trail Extensions

Dakota Dunes & North Sioux City, South Dakota

Dakota Dunes and North Sioux City were awarded $741,000
from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) for a 10
ft. wide, 1.5+ mile trail which will connect the communities of
Dakota Dunes and North Sioux City.

Childcare Market Analysis &
Strategic Implementation Plan

Le Mars, Iowa

The Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation (LBIC), with
funding from the Le Mars Area Betterment Foundation
and partial funding provided by a United States
Economic Development Administration CARES Act grant
as administered through SIMPCO, completed a Childcare
Market Analysis and Strategic Implementation Plan.
Parents, childcare providers and local employers were
surveyed, and a five-year strategic plan was formulated
by a team of providers and industry leaders that will be
managed by an LBIC steering committee.

Christmas in Hometown Le Mars

Le Mars, Iowa

The Christmas in Hometown Le Mars festival brings several
thousand visitors to the downtown Olson Cultural Event
Center’s outdoor stage. Christmas in Hometown Le Mars
epitomizes economic development and placemaking efforts.
It brings together people of all levels in the community for a
common goal, creating a sense of place and supporting our
downtown retailers. A major renovation of the outdoor stage
area: a 42’x19’ backdrop, sound, lighting and staging/green
room areas, was completed at a cost of $75,000 for the
November weekend celebration.

Community Betterment Projects

Le Mars, Iowa

Another project in the second round of Le Mars
Community Betterment Projects is the construction of a
new dog park with a large fenced in area to
accommodate all dog sizes. Included in the park are
benches, tables, a cement trail, grass areas, waste
receptacles and drinking fountains. The combined
investment for the ten projects is $5.4 million.

Downtown Development

Le Mars, Iowa

Upper story housing development in downtown Le Mars
continues in 2021-2022 with two Main Street Iowa Challenge
Grant projects: a $159,600 single-unit and a $496,200 four-
unit development. To date, over $1.7 million has been
invested in downtown Le Mars, supported by funding from
Main Street Iowa Challenge Grants and the City of Le Mars.

Downtown Gateway Arch

Le Mars, Iowa

A new gateway arch welcomes residents and visitors to
downtown Le Mars, the Ice Cream Capital of the World®.
The $200,000 project, funded by the Side By Side
Foundation in Le Mars, features a changeable banner
announcing upcoming community events. Installation of
the welcome sign adds a new and unique, year-round
feature to downtown Le Mars and the city’s placemaking
efforts. It is a landmark for tourism and a community
marketing opportunity. It offers a photo opportunity for
visitors and residents alike and an incentive to explore.

Connelly Development

North Sioux City, South Dakota

Connelly Development continues construction on a 34,000 sq.
ft. new building on the former Gateway campus. The
expansion will allow Pella Gateway to grow by 8,200 sq. ft.
The remainder of the building will be available for lease. This
is a $1.5 million expansion.

Governor Noem Recognition

North Sioux City, South Dakota

North Sioux City Economic Development Corporation
Executive Director Andrew Nilges was presented with
Governor Noem’s Excellence in Economic Development
award. The award was presented at the 2022
Governor’s Office of Economic Development
Conference.

Graham Business Park & Workforce
Housing Development

North Sioux City, South Dakota

The City of North Sioux City and the North Sioux City Economic
Development Corporation collaborated to purchase
approximately 430 acres of land. Approximately 330 acres will
be utilized for a new industrial park. The remaining 100 acres
will be utilized for workforce housing.

Northshore Drive Realignment

North Sioux City, South Dakota

The City of North Sioux City was awarded $17 million in
grant funding for the Northshore Drive realignment
project. The funding, approved as part of the $1.5
trillion federal appropriations bill, will be used to
purchase land and construct infrastructure, including a
new road, water line, and sewer lines.

Red’s All Natural Expansion

North Sioux City, South Dakota

Red’s All Natural is undergoing a 25,000 sq. ft. expansion to
their current building. They will also now occupy an additional
75,000 sq. ft. in an adjacent building. This is an $8.2 million
investment.

Royal Canin

North Sioux City, South Dakota

Royal Canin announced a $185 million expansion at
their manufacturing plant in North Sioux City. The
expansion will result in 149 new jobs.

Sioux Laundry

North Sioux City, South Dakota

Sioux Laundry is in the process of completing a 42,000 sq. ft.
new building in North Sioux City’s Flynn Business Park. The
building will allow the community to retain approximately 60
jobs.

First Street Reconstruction &
Beautification Project

Sergeant Bluff, Iowa

The City of Sergeant Bluff has completed a major
reconstruction of its First Street corridor from the Interstate
29 interchange east to South Lewis Boulevard. As part of a
2016 Comprehensive Plan review with the community, the
First Street Beautification was the number one project
identified. The City was awarded $1.4 million in highway
funds through the State of Iowa and provided $800,000 in
funds. Improvements included reconstruction of six city
blocks, a new trail, traffic signalization, new community sign,
and other landscape and beautification items.

Lloyd Properties Apartment Complex
Expansion Project

Sergeant Bluff, Iowa

In 2021 Lloyd Companies expanded their workforce
housing investment in the City of Sergeant Bluff. Having
built 160 units between 2016 and 2019 the company
needed a new option for residents. They provided a
master plan for an additional 84 units in two buildings.
They maintain a 90% occupancy rate which is well above
typical apartment complexes in the region. The
construction is expected to be completed by the end of
May 2022.

RAGBRAI Returns to Sergeant Bluff

Sergeant Bluff, Iowa

The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI)
returns to Sergeant Bluff in late July 2022. The original event
was created in 1973 and continues to be the largest event of
its kind in the world. With 2023 being the 50th annual ride,
RAGBRAI will be filming a documentary this year to highlight
each town. The event starts on the west side of Iowa by
dipping the back tires in the Missouri River. Over a one-week
period the riders travel through many of Iowa’s communities
and end by dipping their front tires in the Mississippi River on
Iowa’s “east coast”. We ae excited for the ability to highlight
our community and to allow our local businesses to benefit
from the estimated 30,000 participants. Our theme is “Get a
Little BLUFF on Your Tires”.

Badgerow Building

Sioux City, Iowa

The iconic 12-story Badgerow Building in downtown is
undergoing a $23 million renovation by Clarity Development
of Omaha. The historic mixed-use redevelopment will include
71 market-rate apartments with two floors of commercial
space.

Chris Larsen Park Riverfront Development

Sioux City, Iowa

The $12 million project includes park spaces for small
and large family/community gatherings, event spaces,
native plantings, active recreation areas, fitness stations,
three park shelters, restroom facilities, two basketball
courts, a dog park for both small and large dogs, play
equipment for ages 2-12, and enhancements to the
recreational trail system. The completion of Phase 1 in
2021 included demolition and removal of parking lots,
preparing the site for construction, prep and paving for
trail connections, the Promenade, and the Stockyard
Garden. Fundraising is underway to support Phase 2 of
the project which includes the west overlook, interactive
water feature, picnic shelter, and improvements to
existing riverboat structures. The project is intended to
fully activate this area with access from Interstate 29
and Downtown Sioux City.

Cold-Link Logistics

Sioux City, Iowa

A cold storage warehousing firm, Cold-Link Logistics,
committed to purchase 40 acres in Southbridge Business Park
to build a 19,000 sq. ft facility with a capital investment of
nearly $60 million, creating 60 new jobs for the first phase of
the project. Later phases are expected to increase the project
size to 500,000 sq. ft. The City of Sioux City is extending a rail
spur from the City’s Southbridge Rail Yard and a new street to
serve the new development.

Community Navigator Pilot Program

Sioux City, Iowa

Iowa’s West Coast Initiative (IWCI) was chosen as one of
five Iowa “spokes” under the SBA Community Navigator
Pilot Program. IWCI was awarded $100,000 to engage in
targeted outreach to small businesses in underserved
communities and to provide technical assistance and
connect them to available resources and services.

Cone Park Enhancements for Summer

Sioux City, Iowa

Two new regional attractions—summer tubing and major
mountain bike trails—are coming to Cone Park, which opened
as a snow tubing venue in 2017. By using infrastructure that’s
already in place, summer tubing will provide a new
recreational draw in June 2022.

By 2023, a full-scale mountain bike park with more than nine
miles of machine-built and engineered paths will wind through
Cone Park and Sertoma Park. The $2.8 million project will
offer something for every ability level and create a
recreational amenity presently unavailable in our area. Trails
will also be available to walkers, hikers, and runners along
with mountain bike enthusiasts.

HCI Real Estate Company

Sioux City, Iowa

Ho-Chunk Capital began a multi-million dollar renovation
of the redevelopment of several properties on Historic
4th Street in downtown Sioux City, including the former
Aalfs building.

Merge Development

Sioux City, Iowa

Construction was completed on a new $7 million 5-story
mixed-use building on 4th Street that includes 56 market-rate
residential units and 6,600 sq. ft. of commercial space.

Residence at Elk Creek

Sioux City, Iowa

Public infrastructure to support the new Residence at Elk
Creek subdivision has been completed and numerous
homes are under construction. The construction of the
community recreation center will also begin this year as
an amenity for the residents. The subdivision will create
143 housing units.

Southbridge Business Park

Sioux City, Iowa

The City of Sioux City expanded its largest new business park
with the acquisition of 54 additional acres of industrial
development land.

Stone Bru Headquarters

Sioux City, Iowa

The historic building at 101 W 3rd Street will be
renovated into a coffee roasting facility, digital media
studio, and Stone Bru headquarters.

Trail Improvements

Sioux City, Iowa

Construction for the Interstate 29 Riverfront Trail project to
connect Chautauqua Park to the Riverfront was completed in
October 2021, making the Riverfront Trail a continuous 12-
mile segment. The project includes a 1.5-mile trail segment
with two bridges over the Floyd Channel and Floyd River.

West 7th Street Corridor

Sioux City, Iowa

The West 7th Facade Improvement Program is under
way and many projects are under construction. Funds in
the amount of $213,175 were awarded to several
business owners for the rehabilitation of seven buildings
in October 2021. Two colorful murals were completed at
the east entrance of the corridor in late 2021 with
additional murals slated for next year.

Flatwater

South Sioux City, Nebraska

Flatwater will complete a total of 60 multi-family apartments
by the summer of 2022, with a total investment of $10
million. This project includes retail space in one of the
buildings and will help address the housing issues in South
Sioux City.

Gary Ogden Development

South Sioux City, Nebraska

Ogden Construction will start a single-family housing
development that will include 48 homes. This will be a
collaboration between city and private funding, including
down payment assistance for some of the homes. The
estimated value of each home will be $300,000.

Hovey Development

South Sioux City, Nebraska

Hovey Development continues to build single family
homes. This is a 4-phase project. Phase 1 is complete,
and Phase 2 will begin in the spring of 2022. There will
be 78 homes with an estimated valuation of $280,000
per home.

Roy/Don LLC

South Sioux City, Nebraska

River Pointe Apartments continues their $40 million dollar
investment to complete a total of 280 multi-family
units. Phase 2 is under construction and will be completed in
2023.

South Sioux City Wastewater
Treatment Facility

South Sioux City, Nebraska

Construction of the South Sioux City wastewater facility
continues and the facility is expected to be up and
running by June 2023. The $47 million project will serve
all of South Sioux City’s industrial waste, with the option
to expand.

Water Tower

South Sioux City, Nebraska

Completion of a $5 million, 2.5-million-gallon water tower is
complete. This water storage will be an asset to our industrial
district and will facilitate the expansion of current industries
and new industries.

Ag Processing, Inc.

Woodbury County

Ag Processing Inc. (AGP) operates 10 soybean processing
plants in the Midwest, making it the 4th largest soybean
processor in the U.S. Recently, AGP announced a major $70
million expansion project of their Sergeant Bluff crush
operation. Some of AGP products include vegetable oil
refining, renewable fuel production, agriculture products, and
grain marketing.

New Law Enforcement Center

Woodbury County

Construction has started on a new Woodbury County
Law Enforcement Center and jail, located on the
outskirts of Sioux City. The estimated $65 million project
will replace the current jail located in downtown Sioux
City. The new facility will house nearly 450 inmates,
roughly double the capacity of the present jail.

Conference Headquarters: Cell Phone Numbers:
Hilton Washington DC Capitol Hill
525 New Jersey Ave., NW Barbara Sloniker
Washington, DC 20001 712.490.3278
Phone: 202.628.2100
Teresa Rosenboom
712.251.4103

#swac67

2022 CONFERENCE AGENDA

For your information – Charlie Stone & Justin Barker, KSCJ Radio, will be
broadcasting live on Tuesday, May 17, through Thursday, May 19, from
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon (EST) at FAIR, 25 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Ste. 330

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

7:30 a.m. Kick-Off Breakfast with Representative Randy Feenstra (R-IA)
Location: Capitol Hill Club – 300 First Street, S.E.
Moderator:
Brian Crichton
Issue(s):
Workforce Recruitment – Brian Crichton
Emergency Relief (ESSER III) Fund Expiration Dates – Steve Warnstadt
Siouxland’s Public & Not-For-Profit Higher Education Priorities – Dr. Terry Murrell
Health Care Providers Priorities – Linda Kalin
Essential Air Service Program – Kevin McManamy
Hoeven Valley Improvements – Alex Watters
Southbridge Business Park – Alex Watters
KC-46 Conversion for Iowa ANG/185th ARW – Col Mark Muckey
Runway, Runway Extension, and Ramp Replacement Iowa ANG/185th ARW – Col Mark Muckey

8:40 a.m. Meet Senator Grassley’s staff at the north security door of the Capitol to be
escorted to Room SVC-200

9:00 a.m. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Location: Room SVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Moderator:
Casey Mills
Issue(s):
Workforce Recruitment – Brian Crichton
Emergency Relief (ESSER III) Fund Expiration Dates – Steve Warnstadt
Siouxland’s Public & Not-For-Profit Higher Education Priorities – Dr. Terry Murrell
Health Care Providers Priorities – Linda Kalin
Hoeven Valley Improvements – Alex Watters
Southbridge Business Park – Alex Watters
KC-46 Conversion for Iowa ANG/185th ARW – Col Mark Muckey
Runway, Runway Extension, and Ramp Replacement Iowa ANG/185th ARW – Col Mark Muckey
Missouri River Snowpack and Drought Monitoring for Flood Control – Michelle Bostinelos
Essential Air Service Program – Kevin McManamy
Tax Policies Affecting Business Activity and Growth – Casey Mills

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 continued

9:30 a.m. Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD)
Location: Room SVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Moderator:
Chris Bogenrief
Issue(s):
Workforce Recruitment – Suzann Reynolds
Federal Deficit Reduction – Casey Mills
Siouxland’s Public & Not-For-Profit Higher Education Priorities – Scott Pohlson
Health Care Providers Priorities – Linda Kalin
Missouri River Snowpack and Drought Monitoring for Flood Control – Michelle Bostinelos
Essential Air Service Program – Chris Bogenrief

10:00 a.m. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD)
Location: Room SVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Moderator:
Chris Bogenrief
Issue(s):
Workforce Recruitment – Suzann Reynolds
Siouxland’s Public & Not-For-Profit Higher Education Priorities – Scott Pohlson
Health Care Providers Priorities – Brendyn Richards
Missouri River Snowpack and Drought Monitoring for Flood Control – Michelle Bostinelos
Essential Air Service Program – Chris Bogenrief

10:30 a.m. Nic Pottebaum, Health Policy Director, Office of Senator Charles Grassley
Location: Room SVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Moderator:
Linda Kalin
Issue(s):
Health Care Providers Priorities

11:00 a.m. Kim Peyser, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration &

Location: George Sears, Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization,
Moderator:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Room SVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Chris McGowan

11:30 a.m. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)
Location: Room SVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Moderator:
Kristie VerMulm McManamy
Issue(s):
Workforce Recruitment – Brian Crichton
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Funding – Alex Watters
Emergency Relief (ESSER III) Fund Expiration Dates – Steve Warnstadt
Siouxland’s Public & Not-For-Profit Higher Education Priorities – Dr. Terry Murrell
Health Care Providers Priorities – Brendyn Richards
Hoeven Valley Improvements – Alex Watters
Southbridge Business Park – Alex Watters

KC-46 Conversion for Iowa ANG/185th ARW – Col Sonya Morrison

Runway, Runway Extension, and Ramp Replacement Iowa ANG/185th ARW – Col Sonya Morrison
Essential Air Service Program – Kevin McManamy
Missouri River Snowpack and Drought Monitoring for Flood Control – Michelle Bostinelos

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 continued

12:00 p.m. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Location: Room SVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Moderator:
Casey Mills
Issue(s):
Cybersecurity

* Please note, after lunch the remainder of the afternoon sessions are on the
House side of the Capitol Visitor Center in Room HVC-200.

12:30 p.m. Lunch on your own

1:30 p.m. Representative Adrian Smith (R-NE)
Location: Room HVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Moderator:
Lance Hedquist
Issue(s):
Workforce Recruitment – Suzann Reynolds
Siouxland’s Public and Not-for-Profit Higher Education Priorities – Dr. Leah Barrett
Nebraska Highway 35 – Lance Hedquist
Essential Air Service Program – Lance Hedquist
Health Care Providers Priorities – Brendyn Richards

2:00 p.m. Representative Don Bacon (R-NE)
Location: Room HVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Moderator:
Lance Hedquist
Issue(s):
Workforce Recruitment – Suzann Reynolds
Siouxland’s Public & Not-For-Profit Higher Education Priorities – Dr. Leah Barrett
Nebraska Highway 35 – Lance Hedquist
Health Care Providers Priorities – Brendyn Richards

2:30 p.m. Senator John Thune (R-SD)
Location: Room HVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Moderator:
Chris Bogenrief
Issue(s):
Workforce Recruitment – Suzann Reynolds
Siouxland’s Public & Not-For-Profit Higher Education Priorities – Scott Pohlson
Health Care Providers Priorities – Linda Kalin
Missouri River Snowpack and Drought Monitoring for Flood Control – Michelle Bostinelos
Essential Air Service Program – Chris Bogenrief
Federal Deficit Reduction – Casey Mills

3:00 p.m. Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, Senior Policy Counsel, American Immigration Council
Location: Room HVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Moderator:
Casey Mills
Issue(s):
Immigration

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 continued

3:30 p.m. Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE)
Location: Room HVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Moderator:
Lance Hedquist
Issue(s):
Workforce Recruitment – Suzann Reynolds
Nebraska Highway 35 – Lance Hedquist
Essential Air Service Program – Lance Hedquist
Missouri River Snowpack and Drought Monitoring for Flood Control – Michelle Bostinelos

KC-46 Conversion for Iowa ANG/185th ARW – Col Mark Muckey

Runway, Runway Extension, and Ramp Replacement Iowa ANG/185th ARW – Col Mark Muckey

4:00 p.m. GianCarlo Canaparo, Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal &

Location: Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation
Moderator: Room HVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Chris McGowan

4:30 p.m. Room HVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Location:
Moderator:

Issue(s):

5:30 p.m. - Steak Reception
7:00 p.m.
Location: Federal Room – The Monocle Restaurant, 107 D Street NE
Moderator: Brian Crichton

A special thank you to Tyson Foods
for sponsoring our 2022 Steak Reception.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Breakfast on your own

8:40 a.m. Meet Congressman Feenstra’s staff at the northwest security door of the
Cannon House Office Building to be escorted to Room 121

9:00 a.m. Representative Ashley Hinson (R-IA)
Location: Room 121 – Cannon House Office Building
Moderator:
Al Aymar
Issue(s):
Workforce Recruitment – Al Aymar
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Funding – Alex Watters
Health Care Providers Priorities – Linda Kalin
Essential Air Service Program – Kevin McManamy
Hoeven Valley Improvements – Alex Watters
Southbridge Business Park – Alex Watters
Missouri River Snowpack and Drought Monitoring for Flood Control – Michelle Bostinelos

Thursday, May 19, 2022 continued

9:30 a.m. Room 121 – Cannon House Office Building
Location:
Moderator:

Issue(s):

10:00 a.m. Lance West, Chief of Staff, Senator Joe Manchin’s Office (D-WV)
Location: Room 121 – Cannon House Office Building
Moderator:
Chris McGowan

10:30 a.m. Joseph Diver, Chief of Staff & Will Binger, Legislative Director,
Representative Cindy Axne’s Office (D-IA)
Location: Room 121 – Cannon House Office Building
Moderator:
Alex Watters
Issue(s):
Workforce Recruitment – Al Aymar
Health Care Providers Priorities – Linda Kalin
Hoeven Valley Improvements – Alex Watters
Southbridge Business Park – Alex Watters
Missouri River Snowpack and Drought Monitoring for Flood Control – Michelle Bostinelos

11:00 a.m. Room 121 – Cannon House Office Building
Location:
Moderator:

Issue(s):

11:30 a.m. Room 121 – Cannon House Office Building
Location:
Moderator:

Issue(s):

12:00 p.m. Lunch on your own

1:00 p.m. Charles Small, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs,

Location: U.S. Department of Transportation
Moderator: Room 121 – Cannon House Office Building

Chris McGowan

1:30 p.m. Phil Smith, National Field Director, The Concord Coalition
Location: Room 121 – Cannon House Office Building
Moderator:
Chris McGowan
Issue(s):
Federal Deficit & Federal Budget

2:00 p.m. Katie Morley, Representative Adrian Smith’s Office (R-NE)
Location: Room 121 – Cannon House Office Building
Moderator:
Lance Hedquist
Issue(s):
Trade

Thursday, May 19, 2022 continued

2:30 p.m. Gentry Collins, CEO, American Free Enterprise Chamber of Commerce
Location: Room 121 – Cannon House Office Building
Moderator:
Chris McGowan

3:00 p.m. Michael O’Brien, Vice President, Advocacy and Public Affairs,

Location: National Association of Manufacturers
Moderator: Room 121 – Cannon House Office Building

Chris McGowan

_______________________________________________________________________

NOT YET SCHEDULED

Location: Representative Mary Miller-Meeks (R-IA)
Moderator:
Kristie VerMulm McManamy
Issue(s):
Workforce Recruitment – Kristie VerMulm McManamy
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Funding – Alex Watters
Emergency Relief (ESSER III) Fund Expiration Dates – Steve Warnstadt
Siouxland’s Public & Not-For-Profit Higher Education Priorities – Dr. Terry Murrell
Health Care Providers Priorities – Linda Kalin

Location: Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE)
Moderator: Room SVC-200 – U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Issue(s): Lance Hedquist

Workforce Recruitment – Suzann Reynolds
Siouxland’s Public & Not-For-Profit Higher Education Priorities – Dr. Leah Barrett
Nebraska Highway 35 – Lance Hedquist

67th Annual Siouxland/Washington Conference

Table of Contents

WORKFORCE RECRUITMENT................................................................................................... 1
PROCESS AUTOMATION AND ROBOTICS ..................................................................... 4
SECTION 8 HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER FUNDING ................................................... 7

Community Priority position papers have been determined by the
Siouxland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

to have widespread community support. These position papers
are listed alphabetically, not in order of priority.

Updates and Other Position Papers

ESSENTIAL AIR SERVICE PROGRAM....................................................................................... 8
EXTENSION OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL
EMERGENCY RELIEF (ESSER III) FUND EXPIRATION DATES ............................................. 10
FEDERAL DEFICIT REDUCTION.............................................................................................. 12
HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS PRIORITIES ............................................................................... 13
IMMIGRATION REFORM........................................................................................................... 17
KC-46 CONVERSION FOR IOWA ANG/185th ARW IN SIOUX CITY, IOWA.............................. 18
MISSOURI RIVER SNOWPACK AND DROUGHT MONITORING FOR FLOOD CONTROL.... 20
NATIONWIDE E30 by 2030........................................................................................................ 21
NEBRASKA HIGHWAY 35 ......................................................................................................... 24
REAUTHORIZATION OF THE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
EDUCATION ACT (IDEA) .......................................................................................................... 25
RUNWAY, RUNWAY EXTENSIONS, AND RAMP REPLACEMENT
IOWA ANG/185th ARW IN SIOUX CITY, IOWA........................................................................... 26
SIOUXLAND’S PUBLIC & NOT-FOR-PROFIT HIGHER EDUCATION PRIORITIES ................ 27
TAX POLICIES AFFECTING BUSINESS ACTIVITY AND GROWTH ........................................ 28

Ongoing Initiatives

HOEVEN VALLEY IMPROVEMENTS........................................................................................ 30
SOUTHBRIDGE BUSINESS PARK ........................................................................................... 35

Updates, other position papers, and ongoing initiatives provide updates on prior
projects and introduce new ideas proposed by authors. These position papers

are listed alphabetically, not in order of priority.

38

67th Annual Siouxland/Washington Conference

WORKFORCE RECRUITMENT

ISSUE
The Siouxland tri-state region continues to experience tremendous growth through current business
expansion and businesses choosing Siouxland as their new home. In 2021, for the 10th time in 15 years,
Siouxland ranked #1 in economic development for metros under 200,000 in population, as reported by
Site Selection magazine.

Progress and growth are wonderful, however with success comes challenges. Our most significant
challenge remains low unemployment rates in the region, and therefore a shortage of workforce across
many occupations and sectors. Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota have consistently ranked in the top 5
lowest unemployment percentage over the past 10 years. Here is a closer look:

Iowa: Current unemployment rate – 3.3%. The last time Iowa was above a 5% unemployment rate was
October 2012 (9+ years ago) *The lowest recorded rate during the same period was 2.5%.

Nebraska: Current unemployment rate – 2.0%. The last time Nebraska was above a 5% unemployment
rate was January 2011 (11+ years ago) **The lowest recorded rate during the same period was 1.7%.

South Dakota: Current unemployment rate – 2.5%. The last time South Dakota was above a 5%
unemployment rate was February 2011 (11+ years ago) ***At 2.5%, South Dakota is recording its lowest
unemployment rate in the previous 10+ years.

While there is no simple remedy, our local educational institutions, business community, and economic
developers are working diligently on initiatives to educate, upskill, attract, and grow our workforce. Part
of this work includes peering back to where we have been, analyzing where we are, and looking ahead
to where we aspire to be. We must ask, what work should be our primary focus, and what efforts will
propel a noticeable uptick in available workforce? Will future economic or political factors produce more
available workforce, or are unemployment rates under 4% the new norm? Will immigration policies play a
role in our solutions? How does the region work together to provide enough workforce housing? Are there
enough affordable childcare options to support working parents? Are there going to be enough college
students graduating in the future to fill the jobs necessary to keep growing our region? Studies indicate the
number of high school students attending college in the United States will substantially drop off starting
in the year 2026 due to lower birth rates going back to 2008. Other research tells us hourly low skilled
workforce shortages could extend beyond 2030. With many complex factors and facets to workforce
challenges, continued creative strategies to attract workforce will remain paramount as we strive to grow
our community.

SUPPORT REQUESTED
The Siouxland Initiative (TSI), the regional economic development organization that works in partnership
with the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, continues to play a leading role in building a thorough strategy
focused on short and long-term workforce solutions. Allied with public and private sector partners, our
strategy is to continue efforts towards labor force attraction, graduating college student recruitment, early
education, and upskilling initiatives. Due to the dire workforce challenge presently in front of us, we created
three brand new endeavors focused on helping employers this year. Those efforts include the Tri-State
Workforce Summit, which in May 2021 brought labor leaders from Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota to
address our business community about state level programs designed to increase workforce opportunities
and participation. Another first was facilitation of a Tri-State Career Fair, which brought 100 employers
together in June 2021 in attempt to fill open positions. Finally, we launched the Summer in Siouxland
intern program also in June 2021. The program brought nearly 60 interns in the Siouxland community
together for networking and professional development, all the while showcasing our community. It was a
great success, and we are thrilled about our second year beginning in June. Lastly, in April of this year,

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the TSI Board of Directors held a retreat to examine where our focus should lie given the current and
future outlook of the labor force. Consensus was reached around strategies intended to lift our community
through quality-of-life initiatives. Our organization looks foward to working alongside our local partners in
making Siouxland a more desirable and attractive place for working professionals and families for years
to come.

Every two years the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce hosts the Tri-State Governors’ Conference with the
Governors of Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. In July 2021, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, Iowa
Governor Kim Reynolds, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem joined us for a deep discussion, much
of which included strategies on building workforce in all three states.

Ongoing Siouxland initiatives include:
• Maintaining the mysiouxcityjobs.com website for local employers to post jobs and for candidates
to learn not only about employers, but also the Siouxland community.
• Sponsoring and being involved in entrepreneurial competitions, including Innovation Market,
Launch Week, and Swimming with the Sharks to promote new business creation in Siouxland.
• Exploration of an angel fund in Siouxland to provide seed capital to assist new businesses
launching in Siouxland and attract founders to our region.
• Hosting roundtable meetings with area Human Resources professionals to discuss best practices
and where to focus workforce strategies based on market needs data.
• Working with Iowa Workforce Development of Greater Siouxland to uphold Woodbury County’s
designation as the only county in Iowa to achieve the ACT WorkReady Community status, and
one of only two counties in all of Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
• Holding roundtable meetings with 11 area colleges, universities and community colleges focused
on keeping more of the 6600 graduates in the Siouxland area after graduation each year.
• Capitalizing on Opportunity Zones established in the Siouxland area, specifically Sioux City’s
downtown corridor.
• Driving conversations about development of a process automation and technology lab in Siouxland
to support our many food manufacturers and provide additional pathways for students at the high
school and college level.
• Continuing to update our local business community on workforce and economic development
incentives offered by Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota such as childcare and housing programs.
• Advocating for area high schools as they expand Career and Technical Education programs
across state lines giving more kids a chance to explore potential pathways.
• Engaging in programs centered around thoughtful and meaningful immigration reform efforts.
• Identifying high unemployment areas across the U.S. and developing recruitment strategies.
• 1st Annual Tri-State Workforce Summit
• Tri-State Career Fair
• Summer in Siouxland intern program
• Tri-State Governors’ Conference – focus on workforce

Our region urges our tri-state Congressional delegation to continue expanding upon current workforce
development strategies and incentives. In addition to Congressional support, participation of federal
agencies where appropriate would be very helpful as we tackle acute workforce challenges in Siouxland.
Our strongest needs include:

• Recruitment and relocation assistance.
• Resources to help immigrant populations assimilate into the Siouxland community.
• Incentives for developers to construct affordable workforce housing.
• Programs bolstering childcare accessibility and affordability.
• Funding for programs offered by area community colleges to more accurately match the skills

needed by local employers.

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BACKGROUND
The last time Siouxland’s unemployment rate was above 5% was in March 2013 (9+ years ago) ****
Economists often say full unemployment is in the 4.6% - 5.5% range. Using that benchmark, our region
has been at, or below, full employment for the past 8-10 years.
Given the heavy manufacturing, and specifically food manufacturing, in the tri-state area, employers in our
region have an ongoing need for hourly production workers and highly skilled labor.
As it pertains to hourly production workers, our region’s employers are experiencing a pure numbers issue.
There simply are not enough quality workers willing to accept positions for this segment of labor to keep
our local businesses fully staffed. This has resulted in a wage war among tri-state businesses where no
ground is being gained. Instead, employers are stealing each other’s employees, making it very difficult
for employers to strategically plan and meet customer expectations.
With regard to skilled labor needs, upskilling and reskilling of our workforce will be vital in addressing the
skill sets needed to support our employers in Siouxland as they find ways to innovate and automate and
become less restricted by workforce shortages.
Encouraging more young people to consider in-demand skilled labor positions is important to creating
a pipeline of trained and skilled talent. Local stakeholders will remain a leading advocate for expanding
technical and career training programs in our local school systems. Opportunities for students to explore
various pathways more aligned with their interests affords them opportunities to be matched with more
meaningful and gainful employment.
We recognize there is no easy fix for our workforce challenges. Our local champions are fully committed
to tracking workforce trends to ensure we are putting the Siouxland community in a position to have a
qualified workforce and continue to grow. As we set about these objectives, aid and strategic support from
tri-state Congressional members and federal agencies will be a material piece to maintaining a strong
foundation to build and advance upon.
* Due to the COVID-19 pandemic data excludes unemployment rates from April 2020 – August 2020.
** Due to the COVID-19 pandemic data excludes unemployment rates from April 2020 – June 2020.
*** Due to the COVID-19 pandemic data excludes unemployment rates from April 2020 – July 2020.
**** Due to the COVID-19 pandemic data excludes unemployment rates from April 2020 – August 2020.
AUTHOR(S)
Brad Newton, Director of Economic Development and Workforce Solutions, The Siouxland Initiative,
[email protected], 712.222.1245

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PROCESS AUTOMATION AND ROBOTICS

ISSUE
Siouxland has a deep, rich history most recently defined by the general manufacturing organizations and
world class food manufacturers that call the tri-state region home. Per capita, Siouxland is one of the top
regions for food production in the United States. According to a study by Garner Economics in 2014, the
Siouxland area ranked #14 in the country based on food manufacturing employment, finishing on top of
metros such as: Baltimore, Charlotte, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Memphis,
Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, St.
Louis, and Washington, D.C. We are proud of our food manufacturing heritage, but also recognize the
challenges faced by employers in this sector. As manufacturing and food production jobs become less
desirable, and our employers face further difficulty filling key positions, our economy suffers. Seeing these
trends, we as a community are looking ahead.

Technologies such as process automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence are becoming more
prevalent in our economy every day. Organizations all around the world, including those in Siouxland, are
capitalizing on technology by developing ways to become less reliant on human capital. Siouxland sees a
great opportunity to harness the world class talent, processes, knowledge, and expertise we have within
our general manufacturing and food manufacturing community and convert it into a sustainable track for
new growth in the region. While food production and manufacturing jobs become more challenging to fill,
process automation and the utilization of robotics and artificial intelligence continues to grow. A positive
outcome of these trends is that high-skill jobs are being created to design, program, build, repair and
maintain new technologies as they emerge.

SUPPORT REQUESTED
The Siouxland Initiative (TSI), in partnership with the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, educators, general
manufacturers, and food processing manufacturers in the Siouxland area, sees tremendous opportunity
in creating a Food Production and Manufacturing Technology Lab to serve our current manufacturing
and food production base and develop a new track for economic development in the region. Siouxland,
geographically located in the center of the country, possesses world class food process manufacturing and
general manufacturing expertise. This high concentration of diversified manufacturing proficiency, and the
evolving advanced processes being rapidly created, provide a perfect environment for a world-renowned
technology lab centered around accelerating processes and utilizing technology in manufacturing and
food production.

BACKGROUND
Sioux City, Iowa is home to Western Iowa Tech Community College (WITCC). In addition, Northeast
Community College (NCC) has a campus in South Sioux City, Nebraska. Together, both institutions serve
the greater Siouxland community. With two outstanding schools serving the region, and with community
college enrollment continuing to increase, Siouxland sees a great opportunity to capitalize.

WITCC recently scored very highly in data released by the Iowa Department of Education’s Joint Enrollment
report. Accolades include:

• WITCC issued 27% of all post-secondary credentials in Iowa (1st in the state)
• WITCC issued 38% of all post-secondary credentials in Iowa (1st in the state)
• 17% Hispanic student enrollment (2nd highest in the state)

As a state leading community college, WITCC offers many academic pathways in the manufacturing
and food production fields including a two-year Robotics and Automation degree. Curriculum for the
Robotics and Automation program is created by an advisory board consisting of local food processing and
manufacturing professionals. The design of this program is broad in nature to meet the needs of diverse

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manufacturing employers in the region. Many stakeholders in Siouxland believe an opportunity exists to
elevate these programs. Enrollment in the Robotics and Automation program has, with the exception of a
one-year decline due to the pandemic, been consistent and strong over the past four years.

Northeast Community College (NCC), with a campus in South Sioux City, Nebraska also has programs
focused on manufacturing and food processing including:

• Instrumentation
• Motor Controls
• Programable Logical Controls
• Mechanical Basics
• Customized Employer Training Programs

NCC has four credit programs related to automation and technology offered through their Norfolk, Nebraska
campus. Should the demand for such programs grow, NCC could easily transition these programs to its
South Sioux City, Nebraska campus.

Both community colleges enjoy a great working relationship with the Sioux City Career Academy.
Understanding students today will enter a highly competitive workforce, the Sioux City Career Academy
allows students from the tri-state area to gain adaptable skills and knowledge to put them in a position to
succeed in an ever-advancing job market and economy. The Career Academy has over 30 pathways for
students to explore while in high school. Each pathway is career focused and integrates core academic
knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge preparing them for post-secondary education and
careers. Giving students the opportunity to learn about pathways and careers that interest them helps
fortify the pipeline of future workforce in Siouxland.

Looking back at lessons learned in 2020, our region can build an even stronger case for creating a Food
Production and Manufacturing Technology Lab in Siouxland. The past two years have emphasized the
need for advanced research into safety efficiencies in the manufacturing and food production space.
Safety vulnerabilities were exposed for people, animals, materials, and products as a result of the
COVID-19 pandemic. Research conducted at a Food Production and Manufacturing Technology Lab into
future unforeseen events could build better resiliency into the fragile nature of our current supply chains.
Findings would bolster our many local manufacturing firms, as well as provide resources for manufacturers
across the U.S.

Siouxland is fortunate to have MidAmerican Energy as our primary regional energy service provider. In
2020, MidAmerican Energy delivered 83.6% of their Iowa customers’ annual energy needs with renewable
sources, mostly wind. MidAmerican has aggressive goals and is making substantial financial commitments
in its quest to provide 100% renewable energy. We view this as an added benefit and distinction as to
why a Food Production and Manufacturing Technology Lab belongs in Siouxland. Alongside MidAmerican
Energy, Siouxland is a proponent of being a thoughtful and responsible community in a nation trying to
reduce its carbon footprint. In addition, a technology driven lab could provide research and resources for
manufacturers looking for ways to productively embrace renewable energy initiatives in their processes.

A further purpose served by a Food Production and Manufacturing Technology Lab in Siouxland would be
opportunities and pathways for our region’s underserved and minority populations. Siouxland’s history of
foundational manufacturing and food manufacturing proficiency has welcomed a wide variety of immigrant
populations. Our community is more vibrant because of it. Having a world class lab in Siouxland would only
provide more favorable outlooks and circumstances for populations in need of expanded opportunities.

Our vision includes supporting and building upon current assets and curriculums offered at the Sioux
City Career Academy, Western Iowa Tech Community College, and Northeast Community College. With
these partners in place, and the abundance of manufacturing and food production prowess throughout
Siouxland, founding a renowned Food Production and Manufacturing Technology Lab is a logical next
step.

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Specialized employer pods could be created within the lab and designed with the intent of students working
more directly with employers on precise needs and processes. A pod structure would allow employers to
engage and align with students to narrow disciplines, providing both students and employers a more direct
path to successful outcomes.
A potential organic benefit of a project like this could be the formation of an incubation lab for students,
instructors, and area field experts to conceptualize, test and implement future process automation, robotics
applications, and safety initiatives. We see potential to uncover new avenues for entrepreneurship through
this structure. With Siouxland being geographically centralized in the U.S., a well thought out lab concept,
aligned with current educational resources, would be an excellent benefit and resource for not only all local
manufacturing organizations, but manufacturing operations around the country and the globe.
As our regional leaders throughout the public and private sectors continue working in unison to establish
this concept, we ask our tri-state Congressional delegation and federal agency partners to be aware
of, and recognize, the benefits a facility and program like this would provide the tri-state region of Iowa,
Nebraska, South Dakota and beyond.

AUTHOR(S)
Brad Newton, Director of Economic Development and Workforce Solutions, The Siouxland Initiative,
[email protected], 712.222.1245

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SECTION 8 HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER FUNDING

ISSUE
The Sioux City Public Housing Authority (PHA) oversees 1,205 rental subsidy vouchers and administers
a Security Deposit Assistance Program and Family Self Sufficiency Program with an Annual Budget of
$6,456,946. This program provides critical support for the local workforce, providing affordable housing to
working families.

SUPPORT REQUESTED
We request that our tri-state Congressional delegation support portability reform in the Housing
Choice Voucher Program, adopt a budget that fully funds the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and
Administrative Fee accounts in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, and expand Moving to Work
(MTW) flexibilities.

BACKGROUND
If Congress does not adopt a budget that funds HAP at a level that provides for rising rents and other costs
in the HCV Program, vouchers for families will be lost. This loss affects not only the participating tenants but
the landlords who rent to them and the local economy. Administrative fees not only support administrative
duties, but they also support the operation of the program, including unit inspections and many resident
services including landlord outreach and program education. Funding and program flexibilities that allow
MTW agencies to better serve their local communities should be expanded to all PHAs that would like to
use them.

On April 7, 2022 Iowa Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley introduced the Rural Housing Accessibility
Act, which would require receiving PHAs with available funding to financially absorb ported-in vouchers
and limit billing beyond 12 months to initial public housing agencies.

Some applicants for assistance from urban areas, which often have long wait lists, are moving to Iowa,
Nebraska, and other rural states to receive vouchers where the wait lists are shorter. These individuals
regularly leave after just a year to return to the community where they previously lived, taking their Iowa or
Nebraska voucher with them. Rental rates are double or triple times more than rural rates that Iowa PHAs
have been paying, and the larger cities are not required to absorb these port in vouchers and may invoice
Iowa PHAs for their rental assistance indefinitely. This forces agencies in Iowa to continue covering the
cost of that voucher that is often two to three times higher – effectively taking aid away from the place it
was intended for.

Portability with unlimited billing arrangements directly takes away from the residents that want to work and
live in Iowa. In 2020, 12 PHAs found they lost 1,798 vouchers totaling $1,249,270 in a year due to Section
8 portability, according to the Iowa City Housing Authority. Loss of vouchers through portability reduces the
local impact on community poverty and homelessness and creates a loss of revenue for property owners
that participate in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Portability also impacts administrative fees which are needed to continue to administer HCV Programs in
Iowa communities. When a PHA is being billed for a voucher that has left their jurisdiction, they are also
required to send 80% of their administrative fee to that out of state PHA.

The Rural Housing Accessibility Act would allow funds that were allocated to a community to remain in that
jurisdiction to serve our communities’ most vulnerable and disadvantaged households.

AUTHOR(S)
Amy Tooley, Housing Services Division Manager, City of Sioux City, IA, [email protected],
712.279.6980
Becky Mathis, Executive Director, South Sioux City Housing Agency, South Sioux City, NE,
[email protected], 402.494.7514

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ESSENTIAL AIR SERVICE PROGRAM

ISSUE
Sioux Gateway Airport/Brigadier General Bud Day Field has a significant local economic impact – over
$200 million. It is imperative that we continue to have commercial air service to support economic
development, business retention, and future growth of our community. Many opportunities would not be
available without local air service.

The Sioux Gateway Airport Board of Trustees, City of Sioux City, and the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce
are continuing efforts to attract additional service and expand the number of flights. The community
successfully attracted SkyWest Airlines, dba United Express, to begin new air service to Denver on
October 14, 2020. This new hub is critical to accommodate those fliers that need to go west from Sioux
City. Sioux City had been dependent on the Essential Air Service (EAS) program to provide basic service
but beginning May 1, 2016 we were able to secure commercial air service without the need for the EAS
program through the competitive proposal process. Unfortunately, due to impacts of the COVID-19
pandemic in 2020, American Airlines filed for EAS protection on August 28, 2020, which put Sioux City
back into the EAS program.

It is important that the Essential Air Service program is included in future Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) reauthorizations and fully funded for the current airports that depend on the EAS program to retain
commercial air service. We successfully secured commercial air service because of the EAS program and
now must once again rely on it for an interim period.

Efforts continue to secure additional service and to once again be subsidy free. During the post-pandemic
year the EAS program becomes even more important as communities struggle to retain viable air service.

SUPPORT REQUESTED
The Sioux Gateway Airport Board of Trustees, City of Sioux City, and Siouxland Chamber of Commerce
recommend continued support of the EAS program. As Congress looks at reauthorization for the coming
year, we ask that the EAS program budget be maintained at sufficient levels to meet the current contract
obligations and that no new restrictions be added that would eliminate the Sioux Gateway Airport from
being eligible for the program.

Sioux City maintained high demand and had the second lowest per passenger subsidy for those airports
within 210 miles from a large or medium hub. The EAS program continued to provide commercial service
while our community could demonstrate the local demand and ultimate successful transition to a no
subsidy service.

It is important to view Sioux City as a success but also to maintain the program for current and future
unforeseen needs such as the COVID-19 environment. The EAS program provides the safety net to
continue service from our airport with a minimum of 12 flights per week.

BACKGROUND
The tri-state community has always supported the Sioux Gateway Airport/Brigadier General Bud Day Field
as the regional airport. The following is a timeline of the airport’s transition from the EAS subsidy in 2012
to the dual-hub service by American Airlines in 2016 and back to the EAS subsidy in 2021:

• October 14, 2011: Delta Airlines and American Eagle Airlines submitted bids for the Sioux City
service and American Eagle Airlines was selected.

• April 3, 2012: American Eagle Airlines began service to Sioux City under the EAS program. The
contract was for $1.5 million per year for two years.

• April 2014: USDOT asked for proposals for the next two-year contract. Bids were received from
American Eagle Airlines ($611,000) and United Airlines ($1.4 million). American Eagle Airlines
was awarded the contract.
• We believe the lower proposed cost indicates how successful the service had been and that
the EAS program was working to help bridge the gap for air service in Sioux City.

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• American Eagle Airlines has shown their ability to build service in other EAS markets and
has been successful in eliminating the need for EAS in those markets. During the past few
years prior to 2011, enplanements had been declining at Sioux Gateway Airport, but the
2011 enplanement numbers showed a substantial increase over 2010 and enplanements
remained strong from 2012-2018. Average load factors have been higher for the past seven
years since American Eagle began service to Chicago. This increase in enplanements is
indicative of the demand for service from Sioux City to other areas of the country.

• November 5, 2015: Bids were due for the next two-year EAS contract to begin May 1, 2016.
United Airlines submitted a bid of $325,000 and American Airlines bid $1.26 million. American
then notified the USDOT they would continue flying without subsidy beginning May 1, 2016,
which ended the competitive bid process.

• May 5, 2016: American Eagle Airlines added a daily flight to their hub in Dallas/Ft. Worth to
complement the twice daily service to Chicago.

• July 7, 2018: Sioux Gateway Airport was awarded a $650,000 Small Community Air Service
Development Program grant (SCASDP) to assist with attracting a carrier to serve Denver.

• September 2018: American Airlines added a 3rd daily flight to Chicago O’Hare from Sioux
Gateway Airport

• August 28, 2020: American Airlines filed for EAS protection at Sioux City
• September 23, 2020: USDOT sends out RFP for Sioux City to Chicago service
• October 14, 2020: SkyWest Airlines, operating as United Express, begins service from Sioux City

to Denver (1 flight/day)
• October 26, 2020: Bids were due for the three-year EAS contract. Three airlines bid on the Sioux

City to Chicago EAS service – American Airlines ($2.5 million), SkyWest Airlines, operating as
United Express ($1.5 million 1st year, $880,000 2nd year, $550,00 3rd year), and Boutique Air
($0 – aircraft was 9-passenger King Air)
• February 1, 2021: Boutique Air withdrew their $0 bid
• March 1, 2021: USDOT Awards the EAS contract for Sioux City to Chicago to SkyWest Airlines
• April 1, 2021: SkyWest Airlines begins service from Sioux City to Chicago (2 flights/day)
• March 10, 2022: SkyWest Airlines files to terminate service to Sioux City and 28 other
communities citing pilot staffing shortages.
• March 11, 2022: USDOT sends out RFP for Sioux City service
• May 11, 2022: Bids were due for the three-year EAS contract.

Access to the EAS program ensured our ability to retain air service while we worked with American Airlines
to build our market and to become self-supporting, eliminating our need for the EAS program. Sioux
City had the second lowest subsidy and per passenger subsidy at $9 of the EAS communities in the 48
contiguous states located within 210 miles from the nearest large or medium hub and subject to the $200
per passenger subsidy cap before eliminating the need for the subsidy in 2016. We will again continue to
work to build our market to both Denver and Chicago and look forward to being subsidy free in the near
future.

AUTHOR(S)
Mike Collett, Assistant City Manager, City of Sioux City, IA, [email protected], 712.279.0170

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67th Annual Siouxland/Washington Conference

EXTENSION OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL
EMERGENCY RELIEF (ESSER III) FUND EXPIRATION DATES

ISSUE
New federal pandemic funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, also known as the Elementary
and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) Fund, provides significant resources to reimburse
school districts for expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic related to health and safety issues, as
well as learning recovery/acceleration to support students.

According to federal law, these funds are required to be used by September 30, 2024 (close of the Federal
Fiscal Year). According to Iowa Department of Education Guidance posted on April 12: “While the period
of availability for the ESSER III funds begins retroactively on March 13, 2020, and closes on September
30, 2024, districts may use these funds for expenses from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2024.” (The June 30
date ties to the close of the State Fiscal Year (SFY), allowing the Department of Education (DOE) time to
verify and process district requests as the 2024 SFY is closed for accounting purposes.) While other states
have slightly different rules and timelines, they are all similar to Iowa.

SUPPORT REQUESTED
Although the money may be available for reimbursement immediately or even retroactively, we are
committed to using the funds wisely to benefit students, which takes careful planning and staff support.
Moreover, since we opened schools to in-person instruction before schools in most of the country, our
use of these funds will be dedicated to other priorities that will take longer to implement. Thus, we would
ask our tri-state Congressional delegation to extend the “use by” deadline to include expenditures in the
2024-2025 school year.

Rationale
1. Federal DOE and State Department of Education guidance are still pending at the time of this

writing. School leaders are reluctant to make significant plans, knowing that the rules may change
down the road. Districts must have good data and time to focus on the task at hand for interventions
to be successful.
2. The rest of the 2021-22 school year demands a short-term focus on high school students’ immediate
needs (credit recovery, appropriate high school and college-level credentials). For younger
students, this is less a sprint and more a marathon. Training, evidence-based interventions, and
support will stick with our staff long term if we do it right, with a thoughtful and planned student-
centered approach. The ARP statute requires 20% of the funds be spent on learning recovery for
students disadvantaged by the COVID-19 closure and resulting hybrid or virtual models. These
investments require:

• Evidence-based interventions on research, study, and planning.
• Application of quality assessments to identify learning needs to be advanced, identifying

needed staff capacity and students who need interventions.
• Staff training, staff support, and hiring additional staff when both time and labor pools are

currently stretched.

3. ARP allows ventilation and HVAC improvements to help prevent future outbreaks. Many districts
will accomplish these renovations, but contractors are overbooked and in short supply. Prices will
be exorbitant if all schools realistically complete these projects by June 30, 2024 (an extra three
months alone would provide an entire summer of construction possibility, and summer is the ideal
time to make these improvements while school is recessed).

4. Successful summer school can be a game-changer for students. Still, quality summer schools
must be engaging enough to motivate students and staff to attend every day, typically having a
duration beyond five weeks and including academic and enrichment content. The requirement to
complete expenditures by June 30, 2024, effectively removes the ability to use ARP for summer
school following the end of the 2023-2024 school year.

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We request that our tri-state Congressional delegation work with their colleagues, the President, and the
U.S. Department of Education to extend the ARP/ESSER III deadline for schools to claim reimbursement
to include expenditures in the 2024-2025 school year.

AUTHOR(S)
Dr. Paul Gausman, Superintendent, Sioux City Community School District (IA), [email protected],
712.279.6643
Dr. Rod Earleywine, Superintendent, Sergeant Bluff-Luton Community School District (IA), [email protected],
712.943.8787
Dr. Todd Strom, Superintendent, South Sioux City Community Schools (NE), [email protected], 402.494.2425
Dr. Tonia Warzecha, Superintendent, Dakota Valley School District (SD), [email protected], 605.422.3800
Margaret Buckton, Executive Director, Urban Educational Network of Iowa (UEN), [email protected]finance.com,
515.201.3755
Dr. Noreen Bush, Superintendent, Cedar Rapids Community School District (IA), [email protected], 319.558.2216
Dr. Vickie Murillo, Superintendent, Council Bluffs Community School District (IA), [email protected], 712.328.6446

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FEDERAL DEFICIT REDUCTION

ISSUE
The federal government continues to lack a strategic plan which is continuously adhered to, to decrease
the federal deficit. The administration has abandoned using any restraint on the spending side of the
equation. The taxing side is still a work in progress but with every tax increase, we invite businesses to
find a lower tax environment in our global economy.

SUPPORT REQUESTED
The Siouxland delegation asks that Congress put in place a strategy to decrease the federal deficit by
creating a surplus. Accountable spending should be expected, and the federal deficit’s ceiling should not
be as fluid as it has been in the past. Once a strategy is in place to reduce the deficit, it is imperative that
the strategy is followed, and the true definition of the deficit is not changed.

BACKGROUND
Many elected officials, department heads and economists talk about the federal budget and the federal
deficit. The talking points used by individuals and groups have varying facts and figures creating arguments
over what should or should not be included in the debate over the federal budget and the federal deficit.
Any federal budget must include all actual expenditures and all actual revenues. This would create
transparency and accountability of what is spent and received. This accountability would create a genuine
target number on whether each budget continues to expand the debt or helps reduce the debt. States,
cities, and even families are including all expenditures and all revenues when figuring their budgets. Why
should we expect less or tolerate the current lack of transparency from our Federal Government?

As of May 2, 2022, the current outstanding debt was over $30.4 trillion, a staggering $91,380 for every
man, woman, and child of our current population. Currently, the way to gauge the amount of the federal
deficit is based on semantic choices on how to label government receipts and payments. Governmental
agencies and departments do not use uniform and consistent language when rolling out economic policies.
Different years and various offices overseeing the budget may choose to refer to receipts by labeling it
taxes or loans. Income from interest earned or the principal itself in a government account may be spent
to cover an expenditure or payment and these monetary transfers may not be accounted for as actual
spending. This phraseology juggling allows a wide range of inconsistent numbers to be reported as the
federal deficit throughout the years.

To clearly understand the federal deficit, the government needs to define the federal deficit so that it
includes every type of expenditure and then insist that this one definition be used exclusively throughout
all budgeting processes. The current reported debt of over $30 trillion does not include every type of
expenditure and the number would substantially grow if all expenditures were added. In 2000 the reported
national debt was just over $5.6 trillion and by 2018 this number had tripled. The government applauds
itself when they create less of a deficit than the previous year. Creating a budget with a smaller deficit than
the preceding year is not the answer. Spending more than what was received still increases the overall
deficit. The only way to reduce the overall federal deficit is to create a surplus. Something that seems even
more unlikely after the first two spending bills in the current Administration. The proposed tax increases,
if passed, will not be enough to offset this spending trend. We urge you to keep in mind that we now live
in a global economy and businesses can and do seek better tax environments.

Once the actual overall receipts and payments are included in the federal budget, this could create an
improved understanding of the federal deficit’s exact size. More accountable spending should be expected,
and the federal deficit’s ceiling should not be as fluid as it has been in years past. Once a strategy is in
place to reduce the deficit, it is imperative that the strategy is followed throughout the budgeting process
and the true definition of the deficit is not changed.

AUTHOR(S)
Jim Johnson, Urban Inc., [email protected], 712.251.5215

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HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS PRIORITIES

ISSUE
All Americans should have access to quality, affordable, people-centered health care. Congress should
provide oversight to ensure individuals operate only in their areas of expertise.

SUPPORT REQUESTED
We request that Congress authorize a study of how to create an efficient payment methodology.

Support Health Care Reform that Ensures Access to and Affordability of Health Services
We encourage our tri-state Congressional delegation to support legislation that will:
• Maintain affordable coverage that incentivizes people to purchase insurance and responsibly use

health care services.
• Maintain minimum coverage which includes preventative services, wellness screenings, and chronic

disease management.
• Maintain access to high-value quality, cost effective coordinated networks of care that provide coverage

options within and across state lines with competitively priced premiums and affordable cost-sharing.
• Reinvest savings from high-value care back into the health care system which will increase coverage,

decrease premiums, improve population-based health, and address social influencers of health.
• Provide the means for individuals to access medical services either through transportation or telehealth
• Address the rising cost of prescription drugs.
• Eliminate unnecessary unfunded mandates, such as the registry requirement for measure reporting.

Agency oversight is burdensome causing hurdles to patient access. Third party reporting/registry
requirements add financial burden to health care providers. Allowing physician practices to do their
own reporting would eliminate an unnecessary expense. A universal format dictated by Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) readily accessible to practices would alleviate this unnecessary
expense that adds to the cost of health care.
• Support the 340B Drug Discount Pricing Policy and work to keep it relevant to the issues of today and
applicable for issues in the future.
• Scrutinize any attempts by pharmaceutical companies to adjust the ceiling on the limitations held by
340B.
• We support legislation that allows for telemedicine payment parody, regardless of location from where
the appointment occurs for the provider or the patient.

Workforce Challenges
The current and most significant issue facing the health care industry is a workforce shortage. We need
assistance in ensuring an adequate workforce to care for patients without destroying the financial viability
of our organizations. Currently, the national situation with Traveling or Agency nursing is such that it is
crippling health care organizations. The extreme price hikes being demanded by the agencies requires
federal investigation and intervention. Organizations such as the American Hospital Association (AHA)
have requested in the past for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate, we would request
Congress to get involved and encourage the FTC to do a full investigation of anticompetitive pricing of
nurse-staffing agencies.

Support Expansion of Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program
As we struggle to recruit and retain health professionals, it is crucial that Congress extends and expands
the Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program, which recruits foreign physicians to under-served communities.
This program is vital to the recruitment efforts of Iowa hospitals and should be expanded. Visas not used
by states should be put into a pool for other states to access. Our tri-state communities are short on
doctors, especially psychiatrists. We rely on this program to fill the gaps.

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Support for Mental Health Coverage
Shortage of Psychiatric Providers and Recruitment Strategies. Assist Community Mental Health
Centers with recruitment of psychiatric providers and strengthening the health care workforce. Patients
need better access and rapid access to mental health care because many communities are designated
as a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area.

Expand Medicare Covered Providers. Have all master level therapists, such as LMHC, LMFT,
LPCs be reimbursed to see Medicare patients. We need to improve access for Medicare patients and
recognize state-licensed master-level individuals to be able to provide mental health services.

Support Continued Telehealth Services. We advocate for continued options for telehealth services
for mental health after the pandemic is over. In addition, telehealth should include the option of
telephonic services so people with limited incomes who don’t have internet, smart phones, etc. have
access to services other than coming to the office to see a provider.

Support Full Funding of Community Health Centers
• Iowa has 14 community health centers, which serve 240,342 Iowans through 789,000 visits at 86
service delivery sites.
• Nebraska has seven community health centers, who serve 107,704 patients through more than
389,524 visits at 71 service delivery sites.
• Health Centers of the Dakotas (South Dakota and North Dakota) has served 112,000 patients.
• Health centers provide high quality, affordable primary and preventative health care in both rural
and urban areas – which includes medical, dental, behavioral health, and pharmacy services.
• Health centers are a good return on investment.
• A recent University of Chicago study shows services provided by Iowa health centers cost 27%
less than the same services delivered by other providers. This is partially due to our integrated
model of care.
• Iowa health centers employ over 1,700 individuals, many in rural communities.
• Everyone needs a place to go for primary care. Ensuring easy access to high-quality primary
care lowers unnecessary emergency room use and thus decreases costs of other insurance and
healthcare costs. This is a local solution to a state and national challenge.
• For many patients, a health center is their only point of access. This is due to: being the only
provider in the community, the patient’s lack of access to transportation, under or uninsured
status, or the need for management of multiple chronic conditions.
• Health centers are responsive to the ever-changing health care industry. We are proactive,
innovative, consumer-driven, and patient-centered.
• Support the 340B Drug Pricing Program.
The 340B Drug Pricing Program is an essential source of support for Community Health Centers,
allowing them to stretch increasingly scarce federal resources and reinvest in patient care. The
program allows health centers to purchase outpatient drugs at significantly reduced costs. Health
centers pass the savings on to their patients through reduced drug prices and invest additional
savings to expand access and improve health outcomes. Health center patients include people
living with HIV, people who have lost their jobs and health insurance in the economic decline, or
even essential workers who test positive for COVID-19 but do not require hospitalization. The
cost of medicines can easily push them further into poverty, disease, even death.

In July 2021 the U.S. House introduced the bipartisan H.R. 4390, “Protect 340B” bill, which would
prohibit pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) from hurting medical providers that participate in the
340B drug pricing program. The bill would ban discriminatory pricing and policy terms targeting
health care providers that participate in the 340B drug pricing program.

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The bill would also prohibit PBMs and health insurers from discriminating against covered entities
or their community partners for participating in the 340B by imposing different reimbursement
terms or rules than they impose on non-340B providers or pharmacies. The bill would authorize
civil monetary penalties on PBM’s that are found to be in violation of this prohibition.

Unfortunately, PBMs and insurers have found creative ways to take 340B savings away from
safety net providers. Through discriminatory and complex contracting procedures, PBMs/insurers
can redirect 340B savings away from safety-net providers and towards their own bottom lines,
transforming a program Congress intended to support vulnerable patients’ access to life-saving
medications into a subsidy for these for-profit, third party middlemen. We support H.R. 4390 to
ban discriminatory pricing and policy terms targeting health care providers that participate in the
340B drug pricing program.

Support Government-Approved Medications to Treat Methamphetamine Addiction
The opioid crisis and resulting overdose deaths in the United States are well known but methamphetamine
use is surging in our tri-state region. We applaud your efforts to allow flexibility in spending Opioid Response
Grant funds to support state efforts addressing methamphetamine as well as other addictive substances.
However, unlike for opioids, there are currently no approved medications for treating methamphetamine
use disorders. We support more research and government-approved medications to treat this addiction.

Substance abuse has continued to increase during the pandemic. The Iowa Poison Control Center has
seen a sharp rise in the number and severity of self-poisoning suicide attempts, especially tweens and
young tweens. Our medical director published a paper recently on the suicide trends in youth and the data
made it from our state health department all the way out to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration (SAMHSA), Suicide Prevention program, etc.

Increase the Number of Residency Slots
The national focus must be to increase the number of residency training slots so the nation will have
enough physicians to combat the impending shortage and care for our growing and aging population.

While medical schools continue to increase enrollment, the number of residency trainings effectively
has not increased, thanks to the 1997 cap on Medicare support for graduate medical education (GME).

In Iowa, there are 246 physician resident slots not supported by Medicare (AAMC data)
In South Dakota, there are 97 physician resident slots not supported by Medicare (AAMC data)
In Nebraska, there are 114 physician resident slots not supported by Medicare (AAMC data)
Nationwide, there are 15,000 physician resident slots not supported by Medicare.

The portion of costs directly associated with residency training covered by Medicare is only 21%.
To increase the supply of doctors in the U.S., the Siouxland Chamber supports the passage of
legislation by Congress that would provide a modest but critical increase in the number of federally
supported graduate medical education positions.

Support and Infrastructure Recommendations for Telemedicine
Telemedicine offers patients improved access to indicated care and more choices appropriate to
their individual circumstance. Telemedicine offers improved care while reducing cost for chronic care
management, which increases the chances of early detection and better engages patients in their own
care. Telemedicine offers a boost to emergency preparedness and response especially for underserved or
rural areas and advances greater workforce flexibility.

• We support legislation that allows for telemedicine payment parity, regardless of location from
where the appointment occurs for the provider or the patient.

• We encourage the use of telemedicine to reduce health delivery challenges like provider
shortages.

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Support Elimination of State Insurance Regulatory Boundaries

• Freeing insurance companies to bid
• Eliminating payer monopolies
• Allowing for payer economies of scale (31% of U.S. health care spending is currently devoted to

administrative expense.)
AUTHOR(S)
Mari Kaptain Dahlen, CEO, Siouxland Community Health Center, [email protected],
712.226.9010
Julie Enockson, Regional President, Rosecrance Jackson Centers, [email protected],
712.234.2300
Suzi Gausman, Vice President Community Engagement and Corporate Compliance, Center for
Neurosciences, Orthopaedics & Spine (CNOS), [email protected], 605.217.2851
Lorenzo Suter, CEO, UnityPoint Health - St. Luke’s, [email protected], 712.279.3204
Jim Gobell, CFO, UnityPoint Health - St. Luke’s, [email protected], 712.279.3949
Stacy Harmelink, Administrator, Midlands Clinic, [email protected], 605.217.5550
Beth Hughes, CEO, MercyOne Siouxland, [email protected], 712.279.2297
Linda Kalin, Executive Director, Iowa Poison Control Center, [email protected], 712.279.3710
Nolan Lubarski, CEO, Center for Neurosciences, Orthopaedics & Spine (CNOS),
[email protected], 605.217.2609
Sheila Martin, CEO, Siouxland Mental Health, [email protected], 712.252.3871
Krista McCullough, Executive Director, June E. Nylen Cancer Center, [email protected],
712.252.9372
Rob Monical, CEO, Dunes Surgical Hospital, [email protected], 605.232.3332
Brendyn Richards, Director of Development & Advocacy, Siouxland Community Health Center,
[email protected], 712.226.9022

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IMMIGRATION REFORM

ISSUE
While the topic of immigration continues to be a divisive and partisan issue, one cannot ignore that the
current system in the United States garners almost nonstop attention based on arguments of border
security, workforce, and humanitarian needs, as well as economic impact. The complexity and, arguably,
insufficiency of our current system is not only a national issue, but one that affects communities nationwide
in ways far more reaching than those identified at first glance.
SUPPORT REQUESTED
The Siouxland Chamber of Commerce recognizes that our immigration system is defective. In order to fix
the problem, a comprehensive, rational approach to immigration reform is needed. While the debate rages
regarding how to address this issue, we believe that the federal government’s longstanding stalemate and
inaction must be replaced with a constructive dialogue aimed at achieving consensus and resolving this
matter for all concerned, including immigrants, families, employers, government agencies, etc. We believe
a solution that is equitable, balanced, meets the needs of our growing economy, and passes the test of
common sense is required.
Therefore, we respectfully urge our tri-state Congressional delegation to continue to work with other
members of Congress, as well as the Biden Administration, to find a viable and permanent solution to this
increasingly conflict-ridden issue.
BACKGROUND
We urge Congress to work together to address our dated immigration system by finding common ground
through common sense approaches that will lead to meaningful and comprehensive immigration reform.
Congressional implementation of long-term, sensible benefits, as opposed to executive orders and federal
court interventions, are critical not only to fuel economic growth and fulfill employment needs, but to
promote family unity and ensure national security. Implementing and enforcing a system that encourages
innovation and highly-skilled guest workers while also assisting in alleviating underserved areas for
medical providers and the need for seasonal labor, is essential for rural communities and employers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the dire need for health care and other essential workers
whose shortages cannot currently be filled by relying solely on American born workers. In an effort to
position the United States to handle future epidemics and the crisis that accompany, we need to have a
strong and abundant system to mobilize medical personnel. This includes having the manpower to fulfill
imperative roles in emergent times.
Long-term, statutory solutions are needed to address the impact made by immigrants holding Temporary
Protected Status (TPS), as well as the young people who are working under the provisions of Deferred
Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Judicial intervention has provided a short-term solution to what
remains as perilous uncertainty for many families and employers. The economic impact of immigrants
in these categories (TPS/DACA) is significant and continued work authorization, at the very least, is a
sensible way to ensure employment needs are filled, economic contributions are sustained, and family
unity is achieved.
There is currently a critical shortage in workers, no matter the industry. Employer needs require a look at
current numerical limitations for seasonal and permanent workers both in agricultural and labor-intensive
positions as well as in highly skilled categories such as H1B. A modern approach must include responding
to the needs of U.S. employers, tracking non-immigrant entrants, and enforcing authorized periods of stay,
as well as addressing the backlog of the immigration court system, the influx of humanitarian requests, and
the manpower necessary for enforcement of immigration laws. Lastly, a thorough approach will include an
examination of the current millions of “undocumented immigrants” and the economic and social impacts
made by said group and determine the most sensible outcome for those currently living and working in the
United States in violation of federal law.
AUTHOR(S)
Heidi Oligmueller, Elq., Oligmueller Law Firm, [email protected], 402.494.2199

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KC-46 CONVERSION FOR IOWA ANG/185th ARW IN SIOUX CITY, IOWA

ISSUE
The Air National Guard (ANG) KC-135 fleet continues to be the backbone of Global Reach and Global
Power. Whether extending missions through aerial refueling, or transporting cargo and passengers, the
KC-135 has enabled lethality for over 60 years. As near-peer competitors continue to upgrade their military
capabilities, and the U.S. Department of Defense emphasizes greater performance and affordability, the
Air Force must transition to platforms which are more cost effective and capable of dominating the fight of
tomorrow.

Converting the 185th Air Refueling Wing (185th ARW), the “Bats,” from its current eight Primary Aircraft
Availability (PAA) KC-135 mission set to an eight PAA KC-46 unit ensures our adversaries are unable to
upset the established international order while maintaining our overmatch in strategic competition. The
aging KC-135 is increasingly costly to maintain. Suppliers are no longer producing many of the much
needed parts required to maintain these 60 year-old aircraft, while refurbishing these parts are both timely
and expensive. Mission Capable (MC) rates are continuing to decline causing United States Strategic
Command (USSTRATCOM) and Combatant Commander aerial refueling needs to face additional
competitive scrutiny. Converting the 185th ARW from a KC-135 unit to a KC-46 unit substantially increases
joint force readiness and lethality.

SUPPORT REQUESTED
The Iowa Air National Guard/185th ARW strategic plan seeks to ensure the 185th ARW remains a viable unit
now and in the future by replacing the 185th ARW’s current KC-135 platform with the KC-46 aircraft. We
ask that our tri-state Congressional delegation support our course of action that will convert the 185th ARW
to an eight PAA KC-46 unit. This will allow the ANG to leverage the consistently 104% manning (138% pilot
manning) without a need for significant manpower additions. Our historically high MC rates ensure the KC-
46 will be utilized efficiently and effectively. The existing infrastructure and upgrades already in the works
ensures minimal Air Force Military Construction (MILCON) required during conversion. This will enable
Sioux City and the185th ARW to continue to field a sufficient and exceedingly capable warfighting force.

We request the support of our tri-state Congressional delegation in bringing the KC-46 Pegasus Tanker to
Sioux City, Iowa.

BACKGROUND
The 185th ARW is one of the premier tanker units in the United States Air Force. Having flown the KC-135
aircraft since 2003, the 185th ARW has made a name for itself by executing missions all over the globe
as well as always being at the ready for state responses during domestic operations. KC-135R aircraft
are approaching 60 years old, and with the increase in demand for their services, they are requiring more
extensive maintenance at a greater frequency.

Mobilization 7 and 8 ANG KC-46 base selections can leverage the capabilities, infrastructure and experience
of the 185th ARW. Our existing parking apron is capable of supporting eight KC-46 aircraft which includes
a fuel hydrant system that will add efficiency and effectiveness to KC-46 operations. Our new state of
the art Operations Building which is currently under construction will include a fully capable Sensitive
Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) with Special Access Program Facility (SAP-F) certification as
well as a fully functional Alert Facility able to support multiple Combatant Command (COCOM) mission
requirements. Our proposed Mobility Air Force (MAF) hangar project (AP1 Feb 2023), runway remodel,
and extension to 12,000 ft. will increase our current mission sets and our future ability to partner with
STRATCOM and Air Mobility Command (AMC).

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The 185th ARW is leading the way in the KC-135 community. The hard work and dedication of the unit was
recently highlighted by receiving its 15th Outstanding Unit Award, the 5th in a row. The award is given to
units that have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service that clearly sets them
apart from other Air National Guard wings. Existing infrastructure, paired with MILCON upgrades already
planned, will accommodate a conversion to KC-46 with minor MILCON required. Continuing to recruit and
retain exceptional airmen from the tri-state area is one key component to the 185th ARW’s success. 104%
overall manning and 138% manned for pilots, paired with the facilities to support a new airframe, the “Bats”
will increase the Air National Guard and Air Force’s lethality and effectiveness with a conversion to KC-46.
Thank you for your continued support of the Air National Guard, particularly the 185th ARW. The Iowa Air
National Guard requests your continued support in keeping our organization viable and relevant.

AUTHOR(S)
Col Adam “ACE” Carlson, 185th Air Refueling Wing MXG/CC, [email protected], 712.233.0600

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MISSOURI RIVER SNOWPACK AND DROUGHT
MONITORING FOR FLOOD CONTROL

ISSUE
Over the past decade, the Sioux City tri-state area has experienced major flooding. Data recorded in the
last 122 years shows the 2011 flood remains the highest runoff year, with 2019 as second. In 2011, record
snowfall in the Rocky Mountains along with near-record spring rainfall in Montana and North Dakota
triggered major flooding. The lower six dams along the Missouri River released record amounts of water
to prevent overflow. This led to a four-month flooding event throughout the basin below Gavins Point Dam.
The 2019 flood was caused by a historic storm of wind, snow and rain described by meteorologists as a
“bomb cyclone”. A combination of heavy rains and frozen grounds unable to absorb substantial moisture
caused an unprecedented runoff into local streams and rivers, including the Missouri River. Water levels
stayed high for the remainder of 2019 due to wet weather conditions and oversaturated soils. As a result
of the frequent flooding, major destruction of agricultural lands, infrastructure, public lands, residences and
businesses has occurred, causing billions of dollars in damage.

SUPPORT REQUESTED
The Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council (SIMPCO) Water Resource Committee respectfully
requests the continued support of mitigation efforts including investments to flood-related projects in the
Lower Missouri River Basin such as navigation and flood control studies and bank stabilization projects.
BACKGROUND
After the 2019 flooding event, discussion came from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) regarding
a long-term study of the lower Missouri River System. On December 27, 2020 the American’s Water
Infrastructure Act of 2020 and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 were passed into law. This law
included provisions for the Corps to conduct a comprehensive study of both the Upper and Lower sections
of the Missouri River, and to use their findings to submit a report to Congress outlining a comprehensive
strategy for addressing flood risk in areas affected by the 2019 Missouri River flooding. In 2021, the
Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act authorized funding for flood mitigation projects, however projects
on the Lower Missouri River Basin have yet to be prioritized.

AUTHOR(S)
Michelle Bostinelos, Executive Director, Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council (SIMPCO),
[email protected], 712.279.6286
Jeff Dooley, Manager, Dakota Dunes CID, Dakota Dunes, SD, jeff[email protected], 605.232.4211
Lance Hedquist, City Administrator, City of South Sioux City, NE, [email protected],
402.494.7517
Dan Moore, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Sioux City, IA, [email protected], 712.279.6102

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NATIONWIDE E30 by 2030

ISSUE
As evidenced by a January 27, 2022 ruling, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues what
appears to be an anti-ethanol campaign in defiance of clear Congressional intent. The agency’s most
recent action essentially flaunts the intent and objectives of an annual Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
by stretching out the compliance requirements to the point where Congressionally mandated volume
requirements are made meaningless and ethanol demand suffers.

While the RFS was a growth policy from 2005 to 2008, since then EPA mismanagement of the program
and its crippling regulatory approach has limited the market access and expansion of High Octane Low
Carbon (HOLC) ethanol. EPA’s apparent bias against corn ethanol has been well documented and with
even greater discretion in the post-2022 RFS period to establish volumes and facilitate market access,
there is no indication that the RFS will serve as a demand driver and in fact any demand relying on the
RFS is likely to decline.

As the nation searches for cost-effective ways to reduce carbon, adoption of a national higher-octane
gasoline standard containing E30 high octane, low carbon fuels would return renewable fuels to a
sustainable growth trajectory. Such a national standard would benefit the public health and welfare, fulfill
the RFS targets, and reinvigorate the rural economy, all at the same time.

SUPPORT REQUESTED
We request that our tri-state Congressional delegation pick up where the High-Octane Low-Carbon
(HOLC) Alliance, chaired by former Senator Tom Daschle, left off last year. HOLC Alliance urged EPA
Administrator Regan to include a national 100 research octane number (RON) higher octane gasoline
standard “consistent with Title II of the Clean Air Act” in EPA’s Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Rule.
While that Rule is concluded, another opportunity has emerged with a particulate rule discussed below.
At the appropriate time, we hope you might join us in our comments to EPA urging them to make clean
octane ethanol blends an important weapon in their fine particulate matter (PM) reduction arsenal. We
also request that our tri-state Congressional delegation cosponsor and support the Next Generation Fuels
Act of 2021, HR 5089 sponsored by Representative Cheri Bustos. Time is of the essence.

BACKGROUND
These days it is rare for an issue to attract bipartisan support. Fortunately, taking full advantage of ethanol’s
superior octane properties would significantly benefit one of the region’s most important industries—corn
ethanol—and it responds to the needs of automakers, climate change scientists, corn growers and ethanol
producers, public health experts, and those concerned about mounting trade deficits.

It enjoys bipartisan support including advocates such as Senator Charles Grassley (R) and former Senate
Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D), former Governor Terry Branstad (R) and current Minnesota Governor
Tim Walz (D). They point out that existing law provides a clear regulatory pathway to advance from
today’s nationwide E10 to nationwide E30 high octane, low carbon (HOLC) fuels. Congressional action is
not required. EPA Administrator Regan has all the statutory authority he requires. In fact, Congress has
required him to do so.

For too many years now, unelected EPA bureaucrats have manipulated their models and ignored best
available science in their successful attempts to block ethanol’s “clean octane” from replacing oil-derived
carcinogens that petroleum refiners use to enhance gasoline octane ratings.

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Benefits
Our proposed regulatory solution would contribute to a long list of national priorities:

• Fulfill RFS targets while avoiding its many legal challenges.
• Restore competitive marketplace forces while providing flexibility for small refiners.
• Enable immediate and substantial reductions in the U.S. transportation sector carbon footprint.
• Reduce oil imports by one billion barrels/year and the trade deficit by $100 billion annually.
• Save consumers and automakers billions of dollars by providing cleaner-burning, higher

performance fuels needed to power advanced internal combustion engines.
• Save taxpayers billions of dollars per year by reducing the most dangerous urban pollutants,

thereby improving public health and productivity.
• Reinvigorate the rural economy without need for taxpayer supports.
• Create tens of thousands of quality jobs in rural America.
• Reduce American agriculture’s dependence on export markets.
• Bring EPA into full compliance with the Clean Air Act.

EPA Should Move Swiftly to Include a Nationwide E30 Clean Octane Gasoline Standard in its 2022
Fine Particulate Matter Rule
EPA intends to issue a proposed Fine PM Rule by this summer. EPA Administrator Regan has identified
urban fine particulate emissions as one of the nation’s greatest health threats, inflicting disproportionate
harm on urban residents, especially children.

Gasoline’s carcinogenic benzene-based aromatics compounds (BTEX) are responsible for 96% of the
most harmful urban PM emissions. This problem will worsen unless EPA does its job to reduce BTEX to
the greatest degree achievable by substituting safe, clean-burning ethanol for BTEX, because automakers’
advanced direct injection engines dramatically increase ultrafine particles and their associated toxics
unless BTEX is substantially reduced.

That is why the Alliance of Automotive Innovation (AAI) recently urged EPA to encourage widespread
use of HOLC ethanol fuels in “new and existing internal combustion engines…as soon as possible”. The
automakers desperately need ethanol’s clean octane to reduce both harmful carbon and toxics emissions
in more efficient high-compression engines.

A recent Argonne National Lab report confirmed that U.S. corn ethanol’s carbon footprint is less than
half that of gasoline. High-yield corn acres restore soil organic matter and sequester massive amounts
of carbon from the atmosphere. In addition, high-octane ethanol blends displace carbon intensive,
carcinogenic gasoline aromatics, which further reduces transportation carbon emissions.

Studies by Ford and others have determined that a premium high-octane gasoline produced with 30%
ethanol blends would enable automakers to increase fuel efficiency and reduce tailpipe carbon/greenhouse
gas emissions by 7%, saving consumers billions of dollars in both fuel and vehicle costs. E30 blends have
been shown to reduce the most harmful ultrafine particulates and black carbon by 45-85%, which would
save taxpayers billions of dollars annually in avoidable health costs.

Even without taxpayer incentives, ethanol is a superior octane booster that costs less than the carcinogenic
aromatics the oil industry now use to increase gasoline octane ratings.

Automakers are gearing up to manufacture high compression engines which they critically need to meet
tighter fuel efficiency standards. This means that higher-octane fuels are desperately needed NOW.
We cannot afford to wait thirty or more years for the U.S. fleet to make the transition to electric vehicles.
Ethanol has the highest octane, lowest cost, shortest “time to market,” and best environmental properties
of any other fuel component.

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We strongly believe that now is the time to begin an orderly transition to a future that contains high octane,
low carbon fuel.

AUTHOR(S)
Nick Bowdish, CEO, Siouxland Ethanol, [email protected], 712.790.0767

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NEBRASKA HIGHWAY 35

ISSUE
Provide an efficient, safe, and modern transportation system for northwest Iowa, northeast Nebraska, and
southeast South Dakota.

SUPPORT REQUESTED
Community leaders request support from our tri-state Congressional delegation to work collaboratively
toward a continuous and efficient transportation system. Support is requested in seeking additional funding
through various sources to complete a four-lane Highway 35 in Nebraska. With the completion of U.S.
Highway 20 in Iowa in October 2018, the Nebraska Highway 35 section remains as the missing link.

BACKGROUND
Nebraska Highway 35 Expressway is a 70-mile planned project for the Nebraska Expressway System.
This diagonal four-lane segment would connect the confluence of four-lane highways coming from the
northeast into Sioux City, Iowa, with Norfolk, Nebraska, and the four-lane Highway 81 Expressway to
I-80. The Planned 35 Expressway is a significant link that would provide four-lane expressway continuity
in the Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska regions and between national destinations.
Nebraska is the only state with just one Interstate segment, I-80, and no continuous north-south four-lane
corridor. A Highway 81 and Highway 35 Expressway would change that, creating a four-lane “short-cut”
from Minneapolis to Denver, and vice versa, while alleviating significant traffic congestion on I-80 between
Lincoln and Omaha. It is also worth noting that even during the major flooding events in 2011 and 2019
this proposed route remained open.

In 2016, the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) included Highway 35 expansion as a
statewide candidate project in planning documents after receiving significant public input supporting the
project. In 2008, NDOR held a public hearing on the draft environmental impact statement and proposed
route. The hearing was very positive with only a few isolated concerns regarding individual parcels of land
planned to be acquired as part of this project. The City of South Sioux City, Nebraska, along with other
entities, stated strong support for the interchange on I-129 to remain part of this 35 Expressway plan.

The Nebraska Highway 35 Expressway is an important regional, inter-state corridor that will save significant
distance, fuel, and time in moving people and goods between major markets in the Midwest and Western
U.S. If completed, 90% of all Nebraskans would live within 25 miles of an expressway or interstate, greatly
enhancing public safety and economic development opportunities.

The following information depicts the miles saved with the new diagonal route:
• Sioux City to Colorado Springs, CO 240 miles
• Sioux City to Grand Island, NE 96 miles
• Sioux City to York, NE 55 miles

Several large corporations that ship products on a regional, national, and international basis use the
Planned 35 Expressway route, including Associated Wholesale Grocers, Nucor Steel, Norfolk Iron & Metal,
Tyson Pork Division, Tyson Beef Division, Ingredion, empirical, Great Dane Trailers, and Michael Foods.
The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy of Users (SAFETEA-LU)
that was signed into law on August 10, 2005, provides funding for High Priority Corridors and Corridors
of Regional and National Significance. Nebraska Highway 35 Expressway is part of this national system.

AUTHOR(S)
Lance Hedquist, City Administrator, City of South Sioux City, NE, [email protected],
402.494.7517
Josh Moenning, Mayor, City of Norfolk, NE, [email protected], 402.580.2471

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67th Annual Siouxland/Washington Conference

REAUTHORIZATION OF THE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
EDUCATION ACT (IDEA)

ISSUE
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), originally enacted in 1975, requires that every
student with a disability has access to a free, appropriate public education. IDEA was last reauthorized in
2004. As this legislation was being developed, national groups successfully promoted significant changes
that shifted program emphasis from complying with legal requirements to improving education outcomes
and accountability for all students. Although federal legislation initially promised to provide 40% of the
excess cost to educate students with disabilities, all appropriations have fallen short, leaving states and
local school districts to make up the difference. It is important that the reauthorized IDEA also include
expectations of appropriation to fully fund the 40% of excess cost to educate all students with disabilities.
IDEA had been scheduled for reauthorization since 2011, but reauthorization appears to be delayed until
2022 or even later.
SUPPORT REQUESTED
We recommend a strategic approach to reauthorization of IDEA with a strong emphasis on improved
education outcomes for students with disabilities. In preparation for the next IDEA reauthorization, we urge
our tri-state Members of Congress to:

• Support legislation that recognizes the authority of local school boards.
• Oppose unnecessary, burdensome, and costly reporting and data collection requirements related

to IDEA Reauthorization and other related bills.
• Engage our state associations in providing opportunities for local school boards to identify issues

of concern and offer recommendations for modifications to the current law.
• Fully fund the 40% of excess cost to educate students with disabilities.
During the last reauthorization in 2004, the IDEA leaders had excellent bipartisan support in Congress
that helped negotiate final language. We ask for that same bipartisan support and work toward successful
changes to shift the program emphasis from legal processes to improving education outcomes and
accountability for all students.
It is imperative that appropriations match the needs through IDEA reauthorization. Districts have long
struggled since the original authorization and reauthorization of IDEA, and are using local tax dollars to
cover the burdens required by the federal government under the law. Please consider full funding of the
federal expectations as a part of reauthorization.
AUTHOR(S)
Dr. Paul Gausman, Superintendent, Sioux City Community School District (IA), [email protected],
712.279.6643
Dr. Rod Earleywine, Superintendent, Sergeant Bluff-Luton Community School District (IA), [email protected],
712.943.8787
Dr. Todd Strom, Superintendent, South Sioux City Community Schools (NE), [email protected], 402.494.2425
Dr. Tonia Warzecha, Superintendent, Dakota Valley School District (SD), [email protected], 605.422.3800

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67th Annual Siouxland/Washington Conference

RUNWAY, RUNWAY EXTENSIONS, AND RAMP REPLACEMENT
IOWA ANG/185th ARW IN SIOUX CITY, IOWA

ISSUE
The Iowa Air National Guard strategic plan seeks to ensure the 185th Air Refueling Wing (185th ARW) is
positioned well for the next generation of Aerial Refueling Tanker, the KC-46 Pegasus. The 185th ARW
currently flies the KC-135R aircraft and provides mid-air refueling and mobility sustainment in direct support
of global missions of the U. S. Air Force from Sioux City, Iowa. This includes cargo airlift, passenger
movement, and oversight of all operations pertaining to the flying mission of the 185th ARW.
The Sioux City Air National Guard Base completed the transition from the F-16 to the KC-135 in 2003.
At that time, construction projects were completed to accommodate the new mission, but alteration of
the ramp and runway was never initiated. The runway length, pavement subbase, and parking apron
pavement thickness during the transition period was identified as a required fix since it was constructed
to support a fighter mission. Over the past 20 years, temporary fixes have been completed, but the long
term effects of a heavy aircraft on a ramp and runway made for the weight of a fighter jet has taken its toll.
The mission functionality of KC-135 aircraft is degraded to 50% of takeoff capacity and mission support is
limited due to the runway’s length and weight bearing capacity. There are five airfield waivers associated
with airframe wingtip clearance and apron measurements, with two additional waivers associated with the
hot cargo pad and fire hydrants along the parking apron.
The 185th ARW seeks to replace the current 9,002 feet of failing runway and add 1,500 feet of extensions
in partnership with the City of Sioux City utilizing FAA programmed funding scheduled for FY 2026. In
addition the 185th ARW also seeks to replace the existing ramp to support the increased weight of the
aerial refueling tanker as well as alleviate any clearance obstructions and associated waivers.

SUPPORT REQUESTED
We urge our tri-sate Congressional delegation to support the replacement of the current 9,002 feet of failing
runway and add 1,500 feet of extensions. The 185th ARW in partnership with the city of Sioux City intends
to utilize FAA programmed funding scheduled for FY 2026. Expected cost for runway replacement is $60
million and the extensions to be $40 million. In addition, the 185th also seeks to replace the existing ramp
which was engineered and constructed for the F-16 aircraft to be replaced with a sustainable ramp capable
of supporting the increased ramp loads of the current KC-135 and KC-46 aircraft. This will dramatically
decrease Foreign Object Damage (FOD) Hazards while increasing the overall alert positioning, and the
de-icing capabilities of the 185th ARW. Funding programming is intended for FY 2024 and the expected
cost for ramp replacement is $30 million.
BACKGROUND
The mission of the 185th ARW is to provide ready Airmen to support Global Strategic Competition, Nuclear
Deterrence, and Aerial Refueling across Federal and State Missions.

The 185th is leading the way in the KC-135 community. The hard work and dedication of the unit was
proven when they were awarded the 15th Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. The award is given to units
that have distinguished themselves by exceptional meritorious service that clearly sets them apart from
other Air National guard bases. The 185th ARW continues to recruit and retain exceptional airmen from the
tri-state area with overall manning rates consistently above 100%. The much needed ramp and runway
replacement will solidify the capabilities of the 185th ARW and enable the “Bats” to continue to field a
sufficient and exceedingly capable fighting force.

Thank you for your continued support of the Air National Guard, particularly the 185th ARW. The Iowa Air
National Guard requests your continued support in keeping our organization viable and relevant.
AUTHOR(S)
Col Mark Muckey, Wing Commander, 185th Air Refueling Wing, [email protected], 712.233.0501

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67th Annual Siouxland/Washington Conference

SIOUXLAND’S PUBLIC & NOT-FOR-PROFIT HIGHER EDUCATION PRIORITIES

ISSUE
Within the greater Siouxland area, there is a significant mix of public and private higher education institutions.
As workforce development and economic growth of Siouxland remain top priorities for governmental, for-
profit, and not-for-profit entities, the role of the higher education sector in addressing those priorities is
vitally important.

SUPPORT REQUESTED
• We continue to support reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and support efforts to minimize
or eliminate regulations that are burdensome, increase cost, and have no tangible benefit to
students or to institutions.
• We support legislation that provides for the investment of workforce initiatives designed to get
people back to work.
• We support an increase in Pell grant awards in order to make higher education more accessible
and meet the needs of the area’s workforce pipeline.
• We support continued funding of existing federal aid programs at or above current levels.
• We support an option for institutions to disburse aid on a monthly basis – an idea known as “aid
like a paycheck.” Many of our students have ongoing educational and living expenses that could
be better served by monthly disbursements.
• We do not support the concept of institutional risk sharing, as financial aid is a student right that
cannot be limited or withheld by colleges or universities. The unintended consequences of such
a policy would significantly increase tuition and limit access to higher education.

AUTHOR(S)
Dr. Leah Barrett, President, Northeast Community College, [email protected], 402.844.7054
Dr. Kendra Ericson, President, St. Luke’s College – UnityPoint Health, [email protected],
712.279.3148
Sheila K. Gestring, President, University of South Dakota, [email protected], 605.658.5641
Dr. Rachelle Keck, President, Briar Cliff University, [email protected]ff.edu, 712.279.5400
Dr. Terry Murrell, President, Western Iowa Tech Community College, [email protected], 712.274.8733
Manoj Patil, President, Little Priest Tribal College, [email protected], 402.878.2380
Dr. Marysz Rames, President, Wayne State College, [email protected], 402.375.7000
Dr. John Reynders, President, Morningside University, [email protected], 712.274.5100
Steve Warnstadt, Government Relations and Special Projects Coordinator, Western Iowa Tech Community
College, [email protected], 712.274.8733 ext. 1305

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67th Annual Siouxland/Washington Conference

TAX POLICIES AFFECTING BUSINESS ACTIVITY AND GROWTH

ISSUE
Inflation is accelerating, able workers flush with government-money hand-outs are declining to work, and
American small businesses face a staggering post-COVID operational recovery and debt burdens. Small
businesses need time and tax stability to recover before federal spending on new initiatives adds more to
taxes and the debt load.
SUPPORT REQUESTED
A staggering federal debt was incurred to address COVID-19. In addition, the $1 trillion bipartisan
infrastructure bill was enacted. And now a war calls on America to help Ukraine. With this economic
status, stop the new spending. Let businesses first recover. Defer ideas that may have merit in the “Build
Back Better” proposal to after American businesses have had time to recover from the productivity hit and
debt load created by existing federal spending.
TAX POLICIES NEEDED FOR A STABLE BUSINESS RECOVERY
Income Tax
Keep the current income tax structure, rates, and brackets for at least twice as long as the time businesses
had to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, business closings and other related, work and income-dampening
restrictions. It is unfortunate that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been so undermined by partisan fighting.
Leave income tax law as is. Let American businesses have time to heal and recover.
Make Working Pay
Able workers decline to work, instead collecting government support payments. Across America “help
wanted” signs up and down Main Street go begging for applicants. Make working pay better than not
working. Moving to where the work opportunity is, has been the history of generations of Americans.
Eliminate declining to work and collecting government benefits while jobs go unfilled. Enact policies that
encourage moving to where the work is.
Stepped-Up Tax Basis and the Death Tax
The current Unified Credit is not oversized compared to current values of farms and small-business
operating assets. The step-up in tax basis when the owner dies mitigates against the otherwise business-
killing death tax. Some argue that stepped-up basis should be eliminated as an “easy,” no-new-tax way
to raise huge tax revenue for new government-spending adventures. Forced sales of essential business
assets will occur and family farms and small businesses will not survive eliminating stepped-up tax basis
at death. The result will be catastrophic to the economy.
No Wealth Tax
No one should propose or vote for a tax they are not willing to impose on themselves regardless of income
levels. A central argument leading to the 1913 Income Tax Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was that
it would apply only to the very wealthy and would never be paid by ordinary working folks. But look
who pays it now. Verifiable and practical collection of a “wealth tax” cannot be achieved. In the absence
of arms-length transactions as are relied on for income tax, how would your “wealth” be determined?
Legions of government assessors and appraisers beyond the current IRS staffing would be needed to
address the contemporary issues imbedded in determining what “wealth assets” are and what their values
for “wealth tax” purposes would be. The expense to collect this tax would be crushing. The wealth tax
idea unavoidably promotes arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable tax-collecting determinations, fraud,
corruption and asset-hiding. It will destroy the legendary voluntary taxpayer compliance tradition that
America has long enjoyed, in stark contrast to other nations. The appeal of, “you will never have to pay”
and “only the ‘very wealthy’ will pay” appears to be intoxicating to those who think they will never pay. That
is an illusion. No wealth tax should be enacted.

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67th Annual Siouxland/Washington Conference
Taxpayer Base for Income Tax
The income tax burden needs to be better shared across the entire population. Inflation-driving supply
chain problems are best solved when all who are able to work contribute to the effort. Recovering from the
debt load of the federal spending spree, regardless of how well intended, is best solved when all who are
able to work contribute. Citizens who actually pay some amount of income tax are more likely to exercise
sound judgment about elected officials’ proposed government spending and tax policies. The tax-paying
base for the income tax needs to be broadened so that 80% or more of Americans actually pay some
amount of federal income tax.
Quelling Inflation
We have seen that when government pays people not to work, many don’t work. When government
increases taxes and regulation, output declines. And when government floods the economy with money,
inflation breaks out – now at 7.5%. * A government-controlled system does not work. Private sector
capitalism offers the only proven recovery model. To quell inflation, curtail new spending and embrace the
fiscal policies outlined above to reenergize the private sector.
*The Wall Street Journal, p. A16, Feb. 24, 2022

AUTHOR(S)
Lance D. Ehmcke, Partner, Heidman Law Firm, [email protected], 712.255.8838

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67th Annual Siouxland/Washington Conference

HOEVEN VALLEY IMPROVEMENTS

ISSUE
Conflicts between rail and vehicular traffic have a significant impact on business efficiency, economic
growth, and commuter safety. For these reasons it is important for a community to build critical infrastructure
to resolve conflicts and improve the safety and efficiency of its transportation networks.
In addition, older mid-sized communities like Sioux City often face the challenge of replacing and sustaining
major aging infrastructure while controlling costs and providing the investment needed to modernize and
expand transportation and utility systems to allow for economic growth.
SUPPORT REQUESTED
• Support for the construction of the 18th Street Viaduct and extension of Hoeven Drive to provide safe

and efficient access in the Hoeven Valley.
• Support for the replacement and reconstruction of the old Floyd Channel, the associated sanitary

sewer line, the Bacon Creek Conduit, and the Gordon Drive Viaduct.
BACKGROUND
Hoeven Valley is Sioux City’s original industrial corridor, and is nearly seven miles in length, running from
Interstate 29 and the former stockyards on the south end, to the far north city limits. It includes the Floyd
River, Bacon Creek, an extensive network of rail lines and yards, including three Class A railroads and a
regional railroad, and several major industries.
Sioux City has historically faced the challenge of transportation both in and across the Hoeven Valley,
which essentially divides the community in half.
• 18th Street Viaduct/Hoeven Drive extension

While the City successfully completed the $35 million Outer Drive connector project in 2010, providing
access on the north end of the valley, there remains no grade-separated access between that point
and the Gordon Drive Viaduct to the south, in the center of the industrial area.
• A successful 2014 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Planning
Grant allowed design of area infrastructure improvements, including a proposed viaduct at 18th Street,
and the extension of Hoeven Drive, estimated at $33.5 million overall. The City applied for subsequent
grants including TIGER and Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD), which
included funds from the railroads and industries. The goal is to facilitate economic development,
improve accessibility of industrial facilities, allow unimpeded rail service to area rail shippers, and by
eliminating at-grade crossings, improve overall public access and safety, including emergency access,
and reduced vehicular delays.
Additional major challenges also include the Floyd River and Bacon Creek and the efforts over decades to
control flooding and manage storm water throughout the valley. Today the City faces the substantial and
very difficult task of repairing and replacing major highway, street, and utility infrastructure in the heart of
the community:
• Old Floyd Channel
In the 1930s the concrete Floyd Channel was constructed by the Federal Works Progress Administration
(WPA) in an attempt to control recurring flooding. The project ultimately failed and was replaced by
the current straightened Floyd Channel in 1964. Today the partially abandoned channel functions as
the drainage way for Bacon Creek but has fallen into serious disrepair. The large, blighted structure is
being undermined by runoff, is dangerous, underutilized, and a major impediment to redevelopment
of the area.
Please note the condition of the channel structure is causing serious issues with major employers
along the channel. The City is currently working with several large industries to address undermining
and utility issues currently impacting those critical industrial employers and threatening their ability to
continue to operate.

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67th Annual Siouxland/Washington Conference
• Bacon Creek Channel Sanitary Sewer Line

This large line runs directly underneath the old Floyd Channel and has also deteriorated. During the
Missouri River Flood of 2011, water from the Missouri River backed up into this channel, and this
interceptor sewer began to take on massive amounts of infiltration more than 20 million gallons/day
which pushed the City’s wastewater treatment plant to capacity. It needs to be relocated and replaced.
The City has recently received $7.2 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds
for relocation the sewer line. The cost to reconstruct the channel structure is estimated at an additional
$25.5 million to $37.5 million.
• Gordon Drive Viaduct
The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) is currently considering alternatives for the reconstruction
of the 3,970 ft. Gordon Drive viaduct, which is the longest grade separated bridge in Iowa. The viaduct
was constructed in the 1930s and is a critical transportation link connecting the east and west sides of
the City. The estimated cost to rebuild the IDOT-owned facility is approximately $110 million.
• Bacon Creek Conduit
The old Floyd Channel remains the southern outlet for the Bacon Creek watershed to the Missouri
River. Several large underground conduits run under Highway 75 and Gordon Drive where they then
connect the creek to the old Floyd Channel. These conduits are also in extremely poor condition. This
cost is estimated at $40 million and needs to be done at the time of the replacement of the Gordon
Drive Viaduct.
These projects will not only help to improve the efficiency and safety of the existing road, rail and utility
infrastructure, they are the kinds of enhancements that allow the community to thrive and grow, and
benefit the entire region. Without federal assistance it is highly unlikely that the City of Sioux City will
be able to complete these critical improvements. We request that our tri-state Congressional delegation
please support infrastructure funding to move forward.
Federal Priorities
• The City of Sioux City has committed some America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars to qualified
infrastructure projects, primarily water pressure and storage improvements, in the Hoeven Valley area.
• A large part of the Hoeven Valley is in an Opportunity Zone and should be prioritized under several
federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation (DOT), Economic Development
Administration (EDA), and others. Redevelopment of the Hoeven Valley fits in line with federal EDA
priorities including the business expansion of clean energy, green technology, and environmentally-
sustainable development. It also fits well with federal U.S. DOT priorities of job creation and near-term
economic activity, especially in economically-distressed areas, transportation benefits and readiness,
economic competitiveness, safety, and environmental sustainability.
These projects not only help improve the efficiency and safety of the existing road, rail and utility
infrastructure, these enhancements promote community growth, and benefit the entire region. Without
federal assistance it is highly unlikely that the City of Sioux City will be able to complete these critical
improvements. We request that our tri-state Congressional delegation support this infrastructure funding
to move forward.
AUTHOR(S)
David Carney, P.E., Public Works Director, City of Sioux City, Iowa, [email protected], 712.279.6324
Marty Dougherty, Economic and Community Development Director, City of Sioux City, Iowa,
[email protected], 712.279.6345
Chris Myres, Economic Development Specialist, City of Sioux City, Iowa, [email protected],
712.224.5502

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67th Annual Siouxland/Washington Conference
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