The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced on April 5 that $1.8 million in Community Catalyst Building Remediation grants will be awarded to 18 Iowa communities for the remediation or redevelopment of underutilized buildings to stimulate economic growth in the community.
“These grants will be instrumental in the revitalization of communities statewide,” said IEDA Director Debi Durham. “Reinvesting in the redevelopment of buildings ultimately is about creating an environment where businesses and people can thrive.” IEDA Director Durham and representatives from IEDA made the announcement at an awards presentation during the Iowa Rural Development Summit being held in Grinnell. The grants will support local improvement projects such as façade upgrades, building rehabilitations and renovations. Cities are required to provide financial and/or in-kind resources to supplement these projects.
The Community Catalyst Building Remediation program is funded through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature. This is the first year these grants are being made available via the IEDA and continued funding is based on annual availability.
Last fall, Iowa cities approved through a pre-application process were invited to apply. Of the 53 applications received, 18 received the maximum grant award of $100,000. Scoring criteria was based on project impact, appropriateness, funding/partnerships and incorporation of sustainability/smart growth principles. Per program rules, at least 40 percent of the grants were awarded to cities with populations of less than 1,500.
Jefferson’s application was for the Oddfellows Building on State Street that will be renovated for Pillar Technology. Chris Deal was the lead in working with the City on this grant application along with assistance from Jefferson Matters: Main Street director Peg Raney and president Jamie Daubendiek. Greene County Development Corporation president Sid Jones represented GCDC as they provided matching funds. The City of Jefferson made a commitment of $150,000 towards the renovation of this downtown building. City Administrator Mike Palmer, Building Official Nick Sorensen and City Council members Larry Teeples and Matt Wetrich represented the City at the awards ceremony.