It may have been cold outside but there was a lot of excitement in the air as Gov. Kim Reynolds and her staff descended upon Perry for the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative on Wednesday, Dec. 18.

The day started with the Iowa Rural Development Council Meeting at La Poste. Following lunch, Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and others went on a tour of Perry. From Soumas Court to DMACC’s VanKirk Career Academy to the Hotel Pattee and downtown Perry, all parties involved in helping rural Iowa towns saw the best that the city has to offer.

Then things moved back indoors as members from the Iowa Rural Development Council, the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative, Iowa Rural Taskforce and more came together to discuss the benefits of aiding rural communities.

The event also included three separate groups dedicated to helping rural Iowa. Each gave presentations of recommendations in search of financial help to fulfill various initiatives aimed at helping rural Iowa towns and communities. That included the Connect Task Force, The Invest Task Force and the Rural Task Force.

The recommendations then were put to a vote as held by the executive committee of the Empower Rural Iowa Initiative and were unanimously approved and passed on to the next level. Following the approval, the recommendations will now travel to Reynolds’ desk for final action.

“I’m so excited what we’re doing with the initiative and the stakeholders that are participating,” Reynolds said. “The recommendations I thought were wonderful. What I liked about the recommendations today is that it really built upon what we did last year. What they are doing is optimizing and building upon the recommendations that we made last year. Streamlining government is always a good thing.”

The governor and her office will now go over the recommendations as they put together the budget for next year.

Before departing, Reynolds presented some thoughts about the tour and the City of Perry.

“A big shoutout to Perry for hosting us today,” said Reynolds. “We want our rural communities strong and vibrant and growing and hopefully, this is connecting some of those dots.”

Even though she wasn’t able to attend the tour, Reynolds was quite pleased with what she heard.

“I heard so much positive feedback from the tour and what the community is doing,” she said.