JOHNSTON, Iowa – Four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Districts met this week with representatives from the Iowa state agencies to discuss their respective programs, as well as explore collaborative efforts for the future in the state’s public infrastructure projects.
“We at USACE are unique as a federal organization because our areas of responsibility don’t fall on state lines, but are established by the water sheds, and those boundary lines are all over the place,” Lt. Col. Scott Snyder, Deputy Commander, Omaha District, said.
“Just in the state of Iowa, we have four different districts involved in the state and its public works projects and it’s forums like this one that we are able to coordinate and collaborate with one another to create a more organized and effective effort,” Snyder added.
A unique opportunity presents itself in Iowa, as it is the only state in the nation that shares four different USACE districts. Currently, Omaha, Kansas City, Rock Island, and the St. Paul districts all play a part in the state’s public infrastructure projects. Current on-going efforts in the state include flood prevention and risk management measures, flood responses and recovery efforts, dam safety, the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project, and reservoir management.
“The collective goal that we have is to make the USACE boundaries transparent in the state of Iowa. We do that by constantly communicating with one another and ensuring that our programs are cooperative as opposed to competitive,” Col. Jesse Curry, Commander, Rock Island District, said. “It’s really a great balance across the four districts here and we all have same end goal, which centers around the state of Iowa.”
Along with the four district representatives, there were also representatives present from the Iowa Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Natural Resources, and Cultural Affairs. Each representative had an opportunity to brief information regarding their respective programs and share collaborative ideas for the future.
“It’s really an exciting time for the Corps. As many know, the new infrastructure bill was passed earlier this week that will benefit our nation greatly and the Corps will have the privilege of executing a lot of those projects,” Curry said. “The key message I would like to relay as we share our programs with each other - don’t see the lines, see the teamwork capability we have.”