The tiny northern Iowa community of Swaledale is developing what it calls a “Bio Village” along Interstate 35 to promote a variety of homegrown products. Bob Cole, a former Cerro Gordo County Extension community development specialist, says the Bio Village promises to be a terrific boost for the local economy. The Bio Village will feature a bio-fuel station that will only feature E-85, E-diesel, bio-diesel and ethanol. There will be an Iowa products store that will sell food items, arts and crafts. Also, there’ll be a restaurant that will feature locally-produced and Iowa-produced fruits, vegetables and meats. Cole says they’re trying to build the Bio Village as an energy efficient, environmentally-friendly park.The development will incorporate wind and solar energy and other bio-concepts including a wetlands wastewater treatment plant to become an educational center as well as a retail business center. Cole says the project will include an R-V park. The plan also calls for a food processing center to be located at the site where people can bring their garden produce and other specialty food products to be “value-added,” developed and sold. This week, Cole says a local foundation put five-thousand dollars toward the project. He says the money will help with the design aspect of the project over the winter so construction of the R-V park section can start right away. They’ve contacted fuel suppliers in order to prevent a B-P, Kum-and-Go or Casey’s from running the village as a convenience store — they want it to be all locally-owned.
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