It sounds like a lot of money for a town of just under 1,000.
And it is.
The Armstrong City Council Monday night agreed to split the cost of upgrading storm sewer lines with Casey's as the company plans on building a new store on Highways 9 and 15. The city's share will be $40,000.
Yes, that is a lot of money. But then you need to look at the payback:
n Increased property taxes from a new store.
n Likely increased property taxes, again from a new store.
n Possible additional employees.
It's a win-win, obviously. By accommodating plans for the new store, the city is in a sense indirectly giving a grant that will be repaid - with interest - within a few years.
This isn't the first time the City of Armstrong has gone out of its way to help local business and industry. Granted, things haven't always turned out perfectly, but in most instances the paybacks were well worth it.
The city has also gone out of its way to develop housing and to get rid of dilapidated structures. And, due largely to the city council's efforts, Main Street, that had a number of empty buildings just a couple years ago, is doing great again.
It's reasons like this that Armstrong has one of the strongest industrial bases for its size of any town in Iowa. It's a job importer, not a job exporter.
And how many towns of 1,000 can you say that about nowadays.