It was made official yesterday, Oskaloosa and Mahaska County have become a Home Base Iowa Community. This initiative was put forward by Governor Terry Branstad and Major General Tim Orr. “As a veteran, I think it’s a great opportunity,” said Henry Van Weelden, Mahaska County Board of Supervisors, Vice Chair.
Weelden began the ceremony with his remarks about Oskaloosa and Mahaska County being the perfect fit for a program like this. Last week at the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors meeting, Dave Swenson an Economic Representative from ISU. Weelden stated Oskaloosa is a micropolitan, a city between being big and little. Noting that, “we stand out on top. Retail sales are up, population is up.”
At last week’s board meeting, Swenson provided the board, and public, statistics about the economy within the city of Oskaloosa.
One interesting topic that Swenson touched on was the inflow and outflow of workers in Oskaloosa. There is an estimated 6,877 payroll jobs in Oskaloosa since 2014. Only twenty-nine (29) percent of the workers were residents of Oskaloosa, forty-seven (47) percent were from Mahaska County. More people that reside within the city limits actually work outside of the city, roughly 3,800. Only 2,015 residents that live in Oskaloosa stay in Oskaloosa to work.
By bringing veterans and transitioning service members into the Oskaloosa communities, not only able to create jobs in the city but retain employment of these service men and women through this program.
Oskaloosa Mayor Krutzfeldt spoke yesterday of this newly instated program. “But know this, Oskaloosa wants and needs veterans. Not only because we want to grow our population, but because we know veterans are the right kind of people to have as citizens in Oskaloosa.”
Mayor Krutzfeldt continued to say that veterans are the right kinds of people to have in Oskaloosa. Today’s veterans have history of great work ethic, look for better ways to get job done, they’ve been asked to do more and do it faster, and work with others as a team. They show loyalty, determination, passion and patriotism.They take care of their neighbors, as well as their properties.
Some of the appeals Oskaloosa has for veterans are:
- Low interest loan from the Mahaska County Revolving Loan Fund.
- City of Oskaloosa – 0% first time homebuyer loan for anyone who hasn’t lived in Mahaska County in the last three (3) years.
- The three hotels in town have deep discounts for those looking to visit or here for a short extended stay.
- Bank Iowa discounting closing costs on residential loans by $500, free year of lockbox and discounting commercial loans.
- The Chamber is offering a free one year of membership.
- The Mahaska County YMCA is offering a one year free family membership.
- Mahaska Young Professionals (MYP) is offering a one year free membership.
- Mahaska County Recreation Fund is offering a free 15-mile trail ride to view Oskaloosa form the outside.
- Free transportation around Oskaloosa when riding the Oskaloosa Rides bus.
“These are the folks that can develop our community.” Mayor Krutzfeldt said, “So while Oskaloosa is thankful to be designated as a Home Base Iowa community, please understand we do so understanding the community is the great beneficiary here.”
For more information about the Home Base Iowa program visit www.homebaseiowa.gov.
For any questions about the Home Base Iowa program within Oskaloosa or Mahaska County, contact Deann DeGroot with the Mahaska County Agricultural and Rural Development (MCARD)
Phone: (641) 672-2591