Ankeny is a small town of just over 50,000 people with an active city council that has worked tirelessly to use their near location to Des Moines and Ames to continue to improve the economy and quality of life of their residents. Being able to stay independent and prosperous when surrounded by two other well known and growing cities, one the capital of the state and the other home to the largest university in the state, is quite a challenge in and of itself.
Recent Press Has Been Good
According to popular finance website NerdWallet, Ankeny is rated the best small city for families in the entire Midwest and comes in 11th nationally in that list that examined over 250 cities up for nomination. This definitely helps with positive press, but does it translate to growth in opportunity and services?
Mayor Gary Lorenz has lauded Ankeny for maintaining that “small town feel” and sense of community that is not only appealing in a state of Iowa but also offers benefits to anyone who counts themselves as a resident. But can this feeling remain considering that the town is also considered one of the fastest growing in the nation when looking at small cities of 50,000 people or more?
This is part of the challenge of thriving in the shadow of Ames and Des Moines while using their own unique identity and nearness to these urban areas in a way that profits everyone involved.
How To Encourage Economic Improvement?
While many people would be tempted to rest on their laurels based on how the small city of Ankeny is doing, the City Council has made it a priority to figure out how to take advantage of their growth and current good fortune by encouraging that growth and prosperity to continue.
In fact, the Council has even come up with a 7 point action plan to continue to base policies and development of the community around these specific points to encourage all the positive benefits to improve. Called the Economic Development Action Plan, it is a public seven point plan even on the City Council website showing they are still working to keep up with equally healthy and competitive neighboring towns and cities.
Multiple Development Options
When it comes to encouraging business into town, there are many different types of incentives being plotted out to help encourage all types of businesses from downtown retail to more food and beverage options to factories – they are keeping an eye open to prosperity now so they are prepared for any tough times that might come ahead.