Senator Tom Harkin first visited Sioux City when he was elected in 1984, and met with city leaders to address, as he recalls, a dismal situation.
"We had the old stockyards out there, and things were really run down, high unemployment, things were looking pretty bleak. So going around today, Sioux City has performed a miracle," Senator Harkin said.
30 years later, Harkin is touring Sioux City again with a handful of city representatives to survey the progress.
This time, he says he's blown away.
Councilman Dan Moore believes Harkin is to thank for a lot of Sioux City's successes.
"Senator Harkin's been a tremendous amount of help, and I think he will continue to be. That's going to be important, that he hands off the baton to a senator that's going to be able to work with our community as we continue to grow," Moore said.
Harkin is now just five months away from retirement, but says he's working until the very last day.
Sioux City leaders shared with the senator, the work left to be done, and Harkin promised to do all he could to help.
"I want to make sure that I get my oar in the water before I leave, so that my successor can pick up and move with it," Harkin said.
Senator Harkin said he was impressed by the sheer amount of development Sioux City has seen over the years, but even more impressive are Sioux City's extensive plans for the future.
"Mayor Scott and his council have put forward plans so that there's an orderly growth to this, and that's vitally important. My hat's off to Mayor Scott for providing that kind of leadership," Harkin said.
The senator said it was great to see everything that he helped develop come to fruition all these years later, but wanted to give credit where it was due.
"Really, the thanks ought to go to the community and to the city leaders here, who had the foresight and the gumption to get it done," Harkin said.
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