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Gov. Reynolds makes multiple stops throughout Eastern Iowa on 99 County Tour

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INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (KWWL) -- Gov. Kim Reynolds continued her 99 County Tour throughout Eastern Iowa making six total stops hosting discussions, and signing several bills into law Wednesday.

At Gov. Reynolds' stop in Independence, she toured the Leytze building. The building is going under it's own revitalization process with a price tag of more than $700,000.

The building is aimed at addressing workforce housing concerns to further develop the downtown are of Independence.

City Manager, Al Roder, says the Leytze building will be an anchor for showing Iowans the development of Independence.

"We have a catalyst grant that is actually in full swing right now that we toured with the governor, we're looking at a $700,000 improvement project," Roder said.

Iowans gathered in Allerton Brewing in downtown Independence to rifle off questions and concerns about meeting the demands of childcare.

"We had a chance to talk about some of the things they are working on, with childcare," Reynolds said. "Especially, with third and second shift it's really hard to find daycare and therefore that impacts workforce development."

Roder says the child care infrastructure is mandatory in order to develop expansion for the city.

"We expand Independence by expanding our workforce," Roder says. "We have to do that through housing, child care, infrastructure."

During her tour Wednesday, Gov. Reynolds stopped in Grinnell, Williamsburg, Coralville, Dyersville, and Monticello.

During her stop in Williamsburg, Reynolds visited Roehrkasse Meat Co. and signed House File 857, a bill that will establish state grants to help small-scale meat processing businesses and create a task force to explore the feasibility of establishing an artisanal butchery program at a community college or at an institution governed by the state board of regents.

The demand for local meat lockers has skyrocketed over the last year after the pandemic forced many large meat-processing plants to temporarily shut down.

During her stop in Monticello, the Governor visited the Monticello Ambulance Service and signed Senate File 615, which will help give emergency medical service (EMS) departments across the state the chance to be declared an essential service. Being an essential service allows for more opportunities to fund EMS departments.

Governor Reynolds also signed Senate File 243 into law on Wednesday. The new law requires onlookers to try to get help for a person in imminent and grave danger. The bill was introduced in response to the death of Noah Herring at the Coralville Reservoir last summer.

Herring drowned at the lake on April 7, 2020. Three teens and an adult were present when he died, but the Johnson County Sheriff's Office said none of them called 911, and they withheld information about Herring's whereabouts. His body was eventually recovered four days later.

The bill also makes it a crime to fail to disclose the location of a dead body with the intent to conceal a crime.

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Vinny Lowerre

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