The Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Office recently held a roundtable discussion in Ogden, Iowa with local residents and representatives from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency’s field offices. Bill Menner, the USDA Director of Rural Development for Iowa, described the roundtable in his blog on March 16th as, “A great opportunity to talk with rural residents, business owners, and leaders about the issues facing their communities – and the opportunities that exist.”
It was also an opportunity to speak with Steve Eggleston, HUD’s Iowa and Nebraska Field Office Director, and David Doyle, Sustainable Communities Coordinator for EPA Region 7; continuing the collaboration between USDA and Partnership agencies.
“In fact, Rural Development and EPA have collaborated in Ogden on redevelopment planning… This collaboration in Ogden has become a model of how federal investments can spur reinvestment in communities, and Ogden mayor Keith Burg has said the impact on his community has been tremendous. There are projects brewing, but he says that there is also a new energy that did not exist a few years ago.”
Menner cited this roundtable and the agencies’ previous collaboration as evidence that federal agencies can and do work well with one another: “The idea that federal agencies could work well together did not come as a surprise to the attendees… In fact, it may have raised expectations for the audience.”
For more information on the Partnership visit www.smartgrowthamerica.org/partnership.