Our Town Guttenberg: More than just spectacular views

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GUTTENBERG, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Guttenberg is a town of tourism – the views are legendary, after all -- but it's also a city of 2,000 people, the largest city in Clayton County.

While the views of Guttenberg are always striking, it's what is inside the city that Guttenberg leaders are hoping to also get people to visit.

“A lot of things that we have in Guttenberg, obviously, are beautiful scenery and little shops,” said mayor Russell Loven.

Kann Manufacturing, a longtime business in the heart of the city, is where workers have, for decades, put together frames for massive machines, such as garbage trucks.

“Our main business right now is recycling and refuse, the garbage business,” said Steve Friedlein, plant manager at Kann. “We build a lot of boats, barges, sport barges, a lot of stuff for the DNR, Corps of Engineers, Fish & Wildlife,”

Add in a large demand for health care workers, between the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital and other related professions.

“Health care is, probably overall, the biggest employer,” said Loven.

Aside from the scenery, there is also a softer side to Guttenberg, especially along the edge of the Mississippi River. For the time to work the right side of the brain, Molly Moser helps to make this happen in the city.

“We have an after school program that we just finished our eighth year of providing,” said Moser, gallery and studio manager of the Guttenberg Gallery and Creativity Center.

The Guttenberg Gallery and Creativity Center is a creative nucleus, across the street from Clayton Ridge High School, where art pops for the people, especially younger people through the after school art program.

“Personally it means being able to live in the town I grew up in,” said Moser. “A lot of my classmates from Clayton Ridge are moving away and that's a problem with a lot of small towns. When I got an art degree, I did not think I would be coming back to years.

Add in some of the summer culture in Guttenberg, such as Art by the River Fine Art Festival and Workshop and the River of Music concerts. This is what the city is trying to provide the people.

“We have a lot of young people, probably like many places, who tell us they'd like to move back and stay here,” said Loven. “The big thing they want is good jobs and, not necessarily, to get rich but to live comfortable with affordable housing. That is a big thing. Having amenities like we all want. Everybody wants a Starbucks. We have a coffee shop and little things like that.”