Forest City Industrial Rail Park

Forest City site recognized as an Iowa Certified Site

April 27, 2016 – (DES MOINES) The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced that Forest City Rail Park is the latest industrial site to achieve certification through the Iowa Certified Site Program. It joins 11 other sites in the state that have been designated as project-ready.

“The competition for job creation projects is steep, so it is essential that Iowa looks for every possible advantage. The Iowa Certified Site program gives us that edge,” said Governor Terry Branstad. “Forest City has undergone the rigorous certification process and can now tell the world that their site is ‘development-ready.’ I commend the leaders in the community from where I graduated High School for taking a proactive approach to attracting job creation projects.”

The Forest City Rail Park is a 68-acre site adjacent to Winnebago Industries and 3M. Rail service to the site is provided by Iowa Northern Railway and is ideally suited for a transload, distribution or logistics facility. The site is located in Hancock County.

“Forest City Economic Development is extremely excited and pleased to learn of our successful development-ready site certification for our Forest City Rail Industrial Park. We believe that Iowa is a remarkable state in which to do business, and the fact that we are the most northerly-certified site in the state and conveniently located near interstates I-35 and I-90, not to mention rail service, will make this an attractive site for businesses wishing to locate in Iowa.” stated John Roisen, FCED Industrial Committee co-chair and 3M Distribution plant manager.

In an effort to address the lack of project-ready industrial sites in the state, the IEDA rolled out the Iowa Certified Site Program in May 2012. It is an independent, third-party certification program that uses the nationally recognized site selection firm of McCallum Sweeney Consulting (MSC) as the sole certifying agent. The Iowa Certified Site Program is designed to consider a combination of national site location standards as well as Iowa’s natural assets and industry needs of the state’s targeted sectors.

Site certification is one of the fastest growing trends in the site selection business and by introducing certified sites to the market, Iowa is better able to compete for large scale projects. By going through this rigorous process, developers — working closely with their local officials, utility partners and consultants — are better prepared to market their sites with specific site-related information and community data. All site due diligence is completed and resulting issues are mitigated, making the site “risk-free” and, thus, accelerating the development schedule.

Six subsequent application rounds have been opened since the program was established and 11 additional sites are currently working their way through various phases of the program. The next round of applications will be accepted this July for the following categories:

General Industrial Site: 50 – 249 contiguous acres
Large Site: 250 – 499 contiguous acres
Super Site: 500 – 999 contiguous acres
Mega Site: 1,000+ contiguous acres
General Industrial Park: 100+ acres with one site ≥ 20 acres
Super Park: 500+ acres with one site ≥ 100 acres

For more information about the Iowa Certified Site Program, visit

For more information about Forest City Industrial Rail Park, contact Beth Bilyeu, Forest City Economic Development Director, 641-585-5560.

Forest City Industrial Rail Park

4- Aerial Photograph with Site Boundries


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Le Vent du Nord performs COMMUNITY CONCERT in Forest City

LeVent du Nord will perform a concert for the Community on April 28th, 7:00 P.M. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 245 South Clark Street, Forest City.  Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce (145 S. Clark Street) for $10.00 for adults and youth will have free admittance with a Forest City School ID.  Advance ticket purchase is encouraged.

Le Vent du Nord comes to Forest City through the generous contribution from 3M, Arts Midwest and many more.  This is the second of four ensembles that will each spend a week in Forest City.  Each ensemble will spend time with Forest City Elementary – High School students in workshops and performances.  They will also host master classes at Waldorf University,  perform for Forest City elderly at Forest Plaza, and for the community at the YMCA.


Considered a driving force in progressive folk, Le Vent du Nord captures the energy and mirth of a Saturday night kitchen party, infusing old Québec with a breath of fresh, cosmopolitan air. Since its founding in 2002, Le Vent du Nord has won critical acclaim and audience adoration across Europe and North America. The quartet has performed well over 1,000 concerts, racking up prestigious awards including two Junos (Canada’s Grammys), a Canadian Folk Music Award, and “Artist of the Year” at the North American Folk Alliance Annual Gala. The band delivers catchy songs and tunes, some taken from the Québec traditional folk repertoire while others are original compositions. Its concert will feature songs from the ensemble’s latest CD, Têtu. The group has a rich and varied instrumentation, well-polished musical arrangements, and wonderful vocals. The ensemble includes four outstanding musicians: Nicolas Boulerice mesmerizes on the hurdy-gurdy and piano, Simon Beaudry brings sweet vocals and a rich guitar & bouzouki, Olivier Demers serves up energetic violin, guitar, and rhythm, and Réjean Brunet brings the colorful sounds of the accordion to this wonderful mix.

“It’s not often smaller communities like ours have the chance to host international ensembles like Le Vent du Nord—let alone for a full week,” says Norma Hertzer, Grow Forest City, Marketing Director.  “The music and culture Le Vent du Nord shares will be absolutely fascinating and different from what we typically hear. Le Vent du Nord will visit many schools and community locations during the week and present a full public concert as well.  We expect this residency will be a delightful experience for everyone.” The group will arrive in Forest City on April 23 and will conduct seminars, workshops, and small performances at Waldorf University, Forest City Schools and through out the community. The community concert will be Thursday, April 28th, 7 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City.

According to Darwin Lehmann, Forest City Community School Superintendent, Forest City typically would not have the resources to host week-long residencies of the kind Le Vent du Nord will offer.  A partnership with Waldorf University Community Artist Series, Grow Forest City, and the Forest City Community Schools has enabled the community to host the week-long residencies.  Le Vent du Nord is one of four ensembles to visit Forest City over the course of this two-year partnership with Arts Midwest. The other ensembles featured in this program come from Israel, Turkey, and China.

Arts Midwest, one of six U.S. Regional Arts Organizations, partners with program sponsors like The National Endowment for the Arts and 3M to cover a substantial portion of the program cost so communities throughout the Midwest can enjoy this rich arts experience. Forest City was selected as one of only nine Midwestern cities to host the 2015–2017 Arts Midwest World Fest and is the only partner community chosen in Iowa. “It’s a real honor to be part of this program,” says Norma Hertzer. “We really enjoyed working with the artists who have already visited as part of Arts Midwest World Fest and know Le Vent du Nord will be a lot of fun.”

David Fraher, president & CEO of Arts Midwest notes, “Arts Midwest’s goal is to make meaningful and lasting impressions on the communities that host this program. We think week-long residencies can offer so much more than one-day visits. There are more opportunities to truly connect with each other whether through workshops in schools, concerts in the greater community, or through social gatherings. We want this to be a rich experience for the entire community.”

Arts Midwest World Fest presents international music ensembles in the nine-state region it serves with the goal of connecting small and mid-sized Midwestern communities to world cultures. Arts Midwest’s
organization-wide mission is to “promote creativity, nurture cultural leadership, and engage people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives.”

A program of Arts Midwest, the 2015–2017 Arts Midwest World Fest cycle is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, 3M Foundation, and Anime Twin Cities. Additional support is provided by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China for Anda Union, the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest for Baladino, and the Délégation du Québec à Chicago for Le Vent du Nord. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Arts Midwest is also generously supported by Illinois Arts Council Agency, Indiana Arts Commission, Iowa Arts Council, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Minnesota State Arts Board, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, South Dakota Arts Council, and Wisconsin Arts Board.

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