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NI Corridor denies DM Register public information request

North Iowa Commerce Center, formerly a broken-down slum, refurbished with at least $1.5 million in state dollars
North Iowa Commerce Center – formerly a broken-down slum, refurbished with at least $1.5 million in state dollars – now home to MC Chamber of Commerce and NI Corridor

DES MOINES – The Des Moines Register is finding out that the North Iowa Corridor is more like a dark cave, and to navigate it, you will need to bring your own flashlight, because there are no tour guides.

Today, a Des Moines Register investigative reporter wrote an in-depth article on the shroud that has fallen over North Iowa. The reporter is finding out that all roads lead back to 9 North Federal Avenue, a multi-million dollar building owned by the Mason City Chamber of Commerce, where the North Iowa Corridor calls home. These semi-public agencies are being used by elected officials to hide information from taxpayers, to “get things done” that otherwise might not happen, or would take more work to get done. The gist of their ideology is “give us your (public) money, we will make life better for you, but don’t question us on how we did it.”

Right now – courtesy of the Corridor – we have a couple dozen $9.50 per hour jobs that came to Mason City and no certain guarantee that a Fortune 100 company will take over for a shell company that got a sweet deal from taxpayers and come to Clear Lake – the Fortune 100 could pull out before we ever know its identity. We also have a few good old boy businesses that moved across town, too, and that is called economic development (See: Metalcraft) by the Corridor and its cheerleaders (city hall, Globe Gazette, board of supervisors).  The public continues to pour hundreds of thousands into this charade every year.

According to the reporter from the Register:

“Last week, I filed an open records request with the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corp., asking the interim president for the name of the Fortune 100 company and related communications. He said no such records exist and said the agency ‘is a registered private nonprofit corporation and is not a government body.'”

I wish the Register luck in its endeavors.  Will a truly unbiased, first-class media such as the Des Moines Register be able to crack this veil of secrecy?  Many of us in North Iowa will be watching to see this outcome.

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