By Steve Woodhouse
Pella — Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Dave Loebsack met with a delegation from Pella in Washington, D.C., this week.
Grassley said one of the primary concerns the delegation shared with him was in regard to the Corps of Engineers and a wetland situation on the site of the new Pella Sports Park. The Corps is making a report, Grassley said, and if the land is not suitable for the new fields, it may be costly to move.
"I presume, if everything goes okay, they won't call on us," Grassley said. "They won't know until they get done with the Corps."
The delegation also raised concern about environmental regulations. For instance, Pella had to spend $2 million on an air quality machine that runs for 200 hours a year, Grassley said.
Pella's direct connection to Interstate 80 is at a standstill, according to Grassley. He intends to try to get the road into a future, five-year Department of Transportation program.
The delegation also updated Grassley on the hydropower plant project and the career academy.
Grassley said his role, as Senator now, when the Pella delegation comes to Washington, has changed. He is more of an advocate for his constituents now, whereas in the past, delegations from communities such as Pella would seek earmarks. Earmarks are supposed to no longer be allowed.
We have not heard from Loebsack about his meeting.