City of Woodward Receives Ripple Effect Grant for Eco-Business Park Project

Pilot site will be first of its kind in Iowa and US

Iowa Network Services (INS) has announced that the city of Woodward will be the recipient of a $3,500 Ripple Effect grant for the city’s first-of-its-kind Eco-Business Park Project. The grant will be used as part of the city’s required match for application for an energy fund grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). The INS grant was matched with another $3,500 by Minburn Communications, the city’s full-service telecommunications provider.null

The news comes on the heels of Governor Branstad’s announcement that six additional communities have achieved “development-ready” certification through the IEDA certified site program, including a site in Perry. The Woodward site will be different in that its classification will incorporate “green certification” covenants that provide strong guidance for the future development of the Green Business Park. It will be the first pilot site in the entire country.

“We are proud to work with INS and the city of Woodward to help bring the Eco-Business Park to reality,” says Minburn Communications’ General Manager Deb Lucht (pictured right). “This project will create a target market for companies with a sustainable philosophy and can also serve as a blueprint for other sites going forward.”

The Woodward site will be comprised of 463 acres, with 150 of those being certified for business development and the remaining acres serving as support services and housing, all of which will adhere to sustainable development. Site certification is one of the fastest growing trends in site selection business, and by introducing certified sites to the market, Iowa is better equipped to compete for large scale projects which create jobs.

The project leader is the Greater Dallas County Development Alliance, and in addition to Minburn Communications, other project partners include Impact7G, the city’s consulting engineer, Veenstra & Kimm, and the Guthrie County Rural Electric Cooperative.

“This is exactly the type of forward-thinking, sustainable initiative that the Ripple Effect is intended for,” says Michael Eggley, Chief Operating Officer at INS. “We are pleased that we can partner with Minburn Communications to help the city develop this project that will stimulate growth, create jobs and reduce the carbon footprint.”

About Ripple Effect (
The Ripple Effect program, a partnership alliance between INS and Iowa Area Development Group (IADG) is designed to advance the business and community development vitality of rural Iowa by joining local Independent Telecommunications Companies and partnering municipalities in their economic development initiatives. The program provides financial and technical assistance to business and industry and communities, through local telecommunication providers, to stimulate growth and development in rural Iowa. The program makes available low-interest loans to business applicants and planning grants to communities and their economic development partners for various types of community development projects. INS has committed $1 million dollars to this rural Iowa initiative. At minimum, the Independent Telecommunications Companies are required to match the local financial assistance provided by Ripple Effect.

Other Ripple Effect services include financial packaging for development projects; research and education; awareness and training; business marketing and outreach; and development project facilitation including direct financial assistance through loans and grants from INS. For decades INS, through Iowa’s Independent Telecommunications Companies and IADG, on behalf of the Rural Electric Cooperatives, have provided leadership, vision and commitment to rural communities. For more information about this grant or the Ripple Effect program, contact Susan Cosner, Vice President, Community Initiatives, IADG;, 515.777-7308; and on Twitter@insrippleeffect.

About Iowa Network Services and the INS Family of Companies (
Iowa Network Services (INS) was founded as a “centralized equal access” company in the United States. Privately held by 122 Iowa Independent Telecommunications Companies, INS has had middle mile fiber optics in place since 1989. The INS Network delivers the latest in telecommunications services and continues to expand. Telephony, core network transport, Internet, dedicated fiber, Internet Protocol video, data center facilities, network management, technical support and contact center services, information technology, and HR outsourcing are among the many products and services offered to communications companies and enterprise businesses. The INS Family of Companies includes Alliance Technologies, Inc., an information technology company; Alliance Connect, a statewide competitive local exchange carrier; Merit Resources, a Professional Employer Organization; and Caleris, an Iowa-based company offering outsourced contact center services primarily to telecommunication and technology businesses. INS also is affiliated with iWireless, a statewide cellular partner with T-Mobile. For more information, visit

About Iowa Area Development Group (
Iowa Area Development Group is the marketing and economic development office for Iowa’s rural telecommunication companies, rural electric cooperatives and select municipal electric utilities. IADG has assisted with over 1,400 successful business expansions and start-up projects. This growth represents capital investment of more than $5.5 billion and 37,000 jobs for Iowa. The Iowa Area Development Group was established in 1985 to promote and strengthen rural Iowa development opportunities with no-cost services that include building and site selection, financial packaging, research and education, marketing, and other technical assistance.

Media Contact:
Sue Cosner