Public invited to Home Base roll out
By DOUGLAS BURNS
Greene County leaders are encouraging members of the public to show their support for America’s military veterans by attending Gov. Terry Branstad’s formal announcement of the county as the lead designated community in his Home Base Iowa initiative, a statewide plan aimed at attracting returning veterans to Iowa for careers.
Branstad, joined by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa National Guard Maj. Gen. Timothy Orr, a former Grand Junction educator, will speak beginning at 9:30 a.m. March 13 in the AAI showroom.
Mark Lane, general manager of AAI, Ken Paxton, executive director of the Greene County Development Corp., and James O. Andrew, a Vietnam War-era veteran and Greene County ag-businessman, will greet the governor.
Andrew, a leader of a local committee working on Home Base Iowa, will introduce the governor with whom he has been longtime friends.
Members of area VFWs and American Legions will be in attendance along with local elected officials.
Local leaders plan to roll out a “green carpet” to welcome the governor and form an honor line of veterans and employers to greet him.
Those interested in attending are asked to arrive by 9 a.m. Parking at AAI is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Military veterans are asked to wear their caps. Suggested dress for the general public is business casual.
Following the presentation at AAI, local leaders expect to take Branstad and Reynolds to the Mahanay Bell Tower where he can view a community adorned with Home Base Iowa promotions.
Greene County officials, led by Home State Bank President Sid Jones and Paxton, have worked closely with the governor’s office on the initiative to recruit returning military veterans to Iowa.
“Since we launched the bipartisan Home Base Iowa veterans jobs plan, Greene County has made it clear that the community stands ready to welcome service members and match them with good, high-paying jobs,” Branstad said. “I commend the entire Greene County community for their work and look forward to being there to celebrate the achievement.”
Reynolds said veterans bring a number of assets to the state.
“When Gov. Branstad and I launched the Home Base Iowa initiative to attract service members with their unique skill sets to Iowa, Greene County was there standing ready to adopt measures to become a Home Base Iowa Community,” Reynolds said. “I look forward to joining Greene County leaders, business and citizens to announce the exciting designation.”
The governor rolled out the over-arching plan last fall at Camp Dodge in an event attended by Greene County leaders.
In a follow-up news conference at the State Capitol, where he was joined by Paxton, Branstad described how cities, counties and businesses can earn designations as veteran-friendly through jobs and housing programs, as well as other efforts.
At the Jefferson event, Branstad is expected to announce more details on local elements of the state plan.
Greene County incentives for veterans
• County banks have instigated a program that eliminates closing costs for certain financing.
• County businesses offer a $2,000 relocation package to help move the employee’s family to the community.
• To make relocation easier, a central housing site on the Chamber website lists all available properties for sale/rent/lease.
• County leaders offer a pre-application job form on the local development website — greenecountyiowadevelopment.org — that can be completed online and then sent to any employers provided on the site.
• A 100-percent, three-year property tax abatement for veterans’ families looking to purchase a home.
• Greene County plans to publicize its efforts to recruit veterans in national military and veterans’ publications.
Source: Greene County Development Corp.