Dear Editor,

This has been a year like no other. A pandemic was not on anyone’s radar and, by all accounts, it has taken a devastating toll.

During these difficult times, we’ve seen individuals and organizations step up to help communities, including Ottumwa’s own JBS and Plumrose. Through the national Hometown Strong initiative, Ottumwa will receive $3.1 million to respond to needs resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and to help fund community projects.

As community leaders, we are thrilled with the investment from JBS and Plumrose and are excited about the opportunities this gift will make possible for the residents of Ottumwa. JBS and Plumrose have been great partners of our community, even before the pandemic arrived.

We have been impressed with the company’s mitigation efforts against COVID-19 and applaud them for their role in keeping their team members and families safe. Hometown Strong just further demonstrates their commitment to their team and the community, making Ottumwa a great place to live, work and recreate. We want to thank the companies for their belief in the future of our city.

An investment of this size opens the door to fund many projects that have been on our community’s “wish list.” In the coming months, city leaders and residents will identify projects that will have a positive impact on Ottumwa residents.

Thank you to JBS and Plumrose for your belief in Ottumwa, our residents and the future we all share. Your generous support will go far in making our hometown strong!

Ottumwa Mayor Tom Lazio, Ottumwa Councilman Bob Meyers and T.J. Heller, CEO Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress

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