Membership Spotlight on Akron, Iowa

Each month SIMPCO will be highlighting one of our member communities! For the month of June, our member spotlight is Akron, Iowa located in Plymouth County.  We asked Mayor, Sharon Frerichs and City Staff to tell us a little bit about Akron.
Q:  If you were asked to give a tour of your community to your favorite Congressmen/Senator or visiting dignitary, what would you show that person?

A:  As a matter of fact, we did this a couple of years ago. They toured our new residential area, our school, the Akron Care Center (nursing home), Akron Gold and Silver, the winery, Click N Pick, the public day care facility, and the Lazy H Campground.

Q:  What unique characteristics are you proud of in Akron?

A: Located right on the border of Iowa and South Dakota, we are looking forward to the enhancement of the Big Sioux River as a future tourism destination.Several years ago we started a Dunham Prairie walking/hiking route along the river and through the community.

Our opera house was built in 1905 and the current senior center is located in the gymnasium that at one time was part of our high school built in 1922. We are especially proud of the cleanliness of our town and the upkeep by both the city and residents.

We have several rental properties, one of which (Ridgewood) is a HUD subsidized apartment complex for those over 62 or the disabled.

We currently have six churches: Immanuel Lutheran Church ELCA, Trinity Lutheran Church ELCA, New Horizons United Church of Christ, First Baptist Church, Wesley United Methodist Church and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. There are also several small country churches in the area.

Q:  What community events do you host in Akron?

A: Farmer’s Market (Wednesdays in the Park July – September), Scarecrow Festival (third Saturday in September), Flea Market (dates vary), Memorial Day Service (Memorial Day), AWHS Homecoming (dates vary) ,Community Service Day (first Monday in May), Hometown Christmas (Wednesday evening after Thanksgiving), Halloween Trunk or Treat (Halloween), Tri-State Auto Show (dates vary), monthly auctions at the Price Auction House and every five years an all-class reunion.

Q:  What is Akron’s claim to fame?

A: We are the northern entrance to the Loess Hills Scenic By-way.  Dunham Prairie, our walking trail; Opera House, Chamber Annual Dinner, welcome sendoff and return home for state qualifiers in high school athletics, and the Lazy H Campground. Several years ago the previous First Church of Christ became the Birdie Harris/Carol Harris School of Performing Arts.   

Many of our AWHS alumni have gone off to college, gotten jobs, and decided to move back to Akron in order for their children to experience what they did in our school system, moving back from larger cities such as Sioux City, Sioux Falls, or Omaha. Our school enrollment is on the rise!

Q:  What projects are you working on now in Akron?

A:  A new lift station was completed a couple of years ago. A new electric substation is currently in progress, a new aquatic center to be finished in 2020, if funding available, expansion of Industrial Area as well as new housing options, plus revitalization of our business district.

There are new owners of the former bar, Bowling Alley, Akron Lumber, Pizza Ranch, and a new kayak business, Big Sioux Adventure. Several businesses are remodeling their establishments, including the bar, bowling alley, lumber yard, Nathan’s Brokerage. We are now eager to tear down the old auto parts store, as soon as weather permits and an adjoining business is interested in expanding to that location. A new Casey’s store opened in March with future expansion planned in their old location.

The Akron-Westfield Community school is currently dealing on the sale of some of their property for a Dollar General store.

We also have businesses not common in small communities, such as Click n Pick, Gold and Silver (selling guns, coins, antiques, and much more), a winery, implement dealer, tire shop, auto parts store, and Chubs Country Store. Central Valley Ag has also expanded their business substantially since coming to town. Mike Caskey recently purchased a portion of the old state buildings and moved one of the buildings and made a great storage location for his gas carrier trucks.

Located in the South Street Plaza we have one local artist who has her artwork for sale, as well as art classes, plus game instructions, a massage therapy location, a waxing business. One individual does furniture refinishing and antique business, as well as clothing alterations. We are hoping in the future to welcome new businesses in the upper level of that facility, which previously was the Akron Care Center. The “Old Geezers” coffee shop and workshop are also located in the lower level. The “Old Geezers” are willing to train individuals on the use of their equipment or complete repair projects.

We have four local realtors in Akron, who have all been successful in selling many homes within two days the property is listed.

Q: Can you tell us about a successful project/partnership in Akron?

A: $500 lots for new residential buildings; great school district with not only athletics, but also academics and fine arts

We are also working with L. G. Everist on signage for the entrances of our community. We welcome their business to Akron and the expansion they are doing at their gravel pit location.

Q: What do you want people to know about Akron that they might not already know?


  • The sports spirit in our town and the over-all pride in our town.
  • We now have the first female mayor in history, Sharon Frerichs.
  • We have a strong police, fire and emergency services.
  • Our city employees are very dedicated to the town of Akron and dedicated to their jobs.
  •  We are also pleased to have a health care clinic, post office, public library, local weekly newspaper, locally owned drug store, two chiropractors, and excellent ball field facilities.
  • Our three largest employers are the Akron-Westfield Community School, Heyl Transportation Services, and the Akron Care Center. We are located ideally a short driving distance from Le Mars, Ia; Vermillion, SD; Sioux City, IA; Sioux Falls, SD.
  • We are fortunate to have locals engaged in the following service businesses: building contractors, electricians, plumbers, heating/air condition service and auto repair shops.
  • We have a welding shop, three hair salons, veterinary/grooming, a barber shop, plus a financial consultant.
  • We have exceptionally strong youth sports activities.
  • Our industrial/agriculture area is growing.
  • The roads leading into Akron are good.
Q:  Do you have a website or social media links for Akron that you would like for us to share?

Facebook pages are available for:

Websites Links:

Thank you to the City of Akron for all the great information and photos of their wonderful community. We are so proud to have Akron as a member of SIMPCO!

If your community is interested in being an upcoming Member Spotlight, please contact SIMPCO’s Executive Director, Michelle Bostinelos