Toledo residents worried about economic impact of Iowa Juvenile - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Toledo residents worried about economic impact of Iowa Juvenile Home closure

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TOLEDO (KWWL) - With just weeks left until the Iowa Juvenile Home closes its doors, residents of Toledo are trying to understand how their community will survive.

It's a town, according to city officials, that's already struggling.

"We will suffer, the businesses will suffer," said Byron Witt, a business owner in Toledo.

"They won't have that disposable income that we normally would expect. Rural areas are suffering the way it is, and we don't need anything like this to stick a knife in our backs," he said.

Brian Sokol, a local city councilman, agreed.

"We're losing 93 jobs. Not just regular jobs. They were good paying specialized jobs that the community is losing," said Sokol. "We'll definitely come back from this, but it's definitely a devastating blow that nobody expected," he said.

According to Sokol, downtown Toledo is already struggling.

"We're like every other small community. It's hard to bring in a business downtown, and it's hard to keep the ones that are here. They're struggling financially to stay open. The local economy is going to be greatly impacted," said Sokol.

Meanwhile, State Representative Dean Fisher is working alongside citizens to keep the Iowa Juvenile Home open.

"I think this decision has put us in a deep, deep hole. It's going to be very hard to dig out of, but I think it's possible," he said.

Fisher said he's proud of his community coming together in a time of shock and disappointment.

"I'm damn proud of this community. They are really rising up and just doing what good citizens should be doing. I'm very proud," he said.

Residents expect to hold a town hall meeting with lawmakers later this month to see what they can do to keep the home open.
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