News Flash

Press Release

Posted on: January 3, 2023

Top 22 for 2022: A City Year in Review


22. ENGAGEMENT: The City ramped up its public involvement efforts, creating a new website (, tripling its social media following, and hosting interactive meetings on local issues.
21. GIVING BACK – Planning took place throughout 2022 for an upcoming volunteerism program. A new mayor’s Volunteer Appreciation event was launched in September. A large number of church youth took part in cleaning and painting in the parks and campground.
20. BEACH BELLIES: After years of being shuttered, the Snack Shack at the Awaysis Beach lighthouse, an original part of the landmark Project AWAYSIS, was revitalized for summer 2022. It proved to be a popular addition for beachgoers.
19. PIER ONE - A new lighted dock complex was installed near the Awaysis Beach lighthouse. It was popular all season for watercraft, swimmers and anglers.
18. CHILL THRILLS – Bicycle and watercraft rentals returned to the King’s Pointe area for a busy tourism season, for the first time in years. The rentals are operated by an innovative phone app system.
17. PREVENTION: The Storm Lake Fire Department stepped up its efforts to keep the community safe, with an open house in the spring full of demonstrations for all ages. A National Fire Prevention Week campaign in October offered community appearances and smoke detector giveaways.
16. A KICK IN THE GRASS - The City’s Sunrise Golf Course debuted a new sport – footgolf – played for the first time in Storm Lake, Oct. 15, 2022.
15. A NEW CHAPTER –The City was awarded a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to replace the HVAC system and to create a new tele-health space in the library building. Work will be going on this winter.
14. WELCOMING WATERS – The City, the DNR and the Lake Improvement Commission worked together to launch a new aquatic vegetation management project. Some of the clearest water in memory was seen off the beach areas.
13. FREEDOM AWARD – The SLPD was also honored in a ceremony with the governor. The Storm Lake Police Department is among 15 U.S. recipients of the 2022 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest U.S. government honor to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees. The SLPD has seven Guard soldiers serving as officers.
12. A BETTER TOMORROW – The City began collecting data for Storm Lake 2040: A Beacon for a Better Tomorrow, the city’s updated comprehensive plan. The plan lays the framework for the future of Storm Lake’s next 20 years based on available data and shaped by the voice of the community. 
11. A SIGNAL OF PROGRESS – After the new Early Elementary was opened, a new intersection on West Milwaukee/Highway 7 was constructed and a traffic signal installed, to help keep precious passengers in the schools area safe. A unique partnership between the City, County, State, school district and railroad made it happen.
10. HOME SWEET HOME - A long-held goal of housing expansion began to bear fruit, with approximately 250 new home units underway. Developments ranged from condominiums to apartments to single family homes, and include a new neighborhood of duplex homes that is the largest single housing development in Storm Lake history.
9. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: King’s Pointe, the rare community-owner tourism resort, marked its 15th year in Storm Lake, posting a successful summer. The resort sees around 60,000-70,000 guests per year, and 12,000-15,000 outdoor waterpark guests per season. It has generated more than $2 million in hotel/motel tax revenue for the community, and local option sales tax revenue has grown over 80% since its opening.
8. INCLUSION HONORS: The City of Storm Lake and its Police Department were honored with the 2022 Inclusion and Equity Award presented by the International County/City Managers Association, celebrating the many outreach efforts to a diverse community. City staff and employees from across all departments took part in Cultural Humility training, one of many efforts to continually improve service to the community.
7. PITCH PERFECT – The City combined forces with Kick It Forward non-profit to build a donation-funded soccer mini-pitch in Chautauqua Park. The site was dedicated during the Multicultural Festival September 10, and has been much enjoyed ever since.
6. SHOPPING AROUND: The City created a new economic development role, culminating in the hiring of a respected firm to begin national recruitment of new businesses to fulfill targeted needs in the retail community. 
5. TOWERING PLANS: Property was obtained and a project designed for a future water tower. The 115-foot-tall, 1.5 million gallon tower will be by far the largest in city history. The project responds to Storm Lake’s steady population growth.
4. SWEET SOUNDS: A Harmony Garden project was announced in December, after the City earned one of only 25 grants available nationwide from T-Mobile. The project will install musical instruments with inspiration from different cultures, as part of a major planned renovation of the public library/Witter Art Gallery grounds.
3. DOWNTOWN UPSCALE: A year-long planning process has created a new Downtown Master Plan to guide future development of the Central Business District. The plan reimagines streetscape, innovative business sites, gathering spaces, greenery, public art, bike access and more. The plan will go to the city council in early 2023.
2. FAMILY FUN: The City of Storm Lake teamed with King’s Pointe Resort to create a major new celebration, Kid’s Fest, which drew an estimated 1,500 people to the Great Lawn for a day of pure fun. The event will return in June, helping to mark the City’s Sesquicentennial celebration.
1. GREEN SCENE: The City moved closer to beginning work on a new plan to make a former dredge spoil site into an inspiring public nature park. Work is expected to begin with hiking/mountain biking trails, with an outdoor classroom, dog park, sports fields and more as future possibilities.

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