Local officials were at the statehouse yesterday, urging lawmakers who’re crafting a huge state economic development fund to make sure enough planning’s done to ensure the money’s not wasted. Doug Elliott is executive director of the East Central Iowa Council of Governments, based in Cedar Rapids. Elliott says any “bold” plan needs to take place in the context of comprehensive planning that accounts for garbage, traffic patterns, water needs and land use that’s associated with economic growth. The regional Councils of Government favor an even larger, two-point-two billion dollar fund, but make no recommendations on how the state should come up with the money. Brian Tapp, executive director of the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission in Burlington, says the money should be spent to build infrastructure. Tapp says by building new water and sewer lines, roads and airports, the state’s economy will grow around ’em.
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