Anamosa

The City of Anamosa has been informed that they were awarded their full asking price of up to $500,000 for a grant to improve their buildings downtown.

“I am pleased to inform you the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has awarded the City of Anamosa a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in an amount not to exceed $500,000,” Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority Deb Durham said in a letter addressed to Mayor Rod Smith.

Anamosa had applied earlier this year for the Downtown Revitalization Program through the Community Development Block Grant to improve the façades of downtown buildings. With being awarded their full asking amount, slightly more than $1 million could be invested in upgrading the appearance of downtown buildings over the next couple of years. The $1 million comes from three sources: up to $500,000 could be awarded by the state, with $250,000 matched by the city and the rest covered private property owners. The city’s match will be met through Tax Increment Financing.

When the city was going through the initial process of determining property owners that were interested and eligible for the program, a lot of interest was shown. Multiple grants could be used to complete the revitalization process. The first phase of the Downtown Revitalization is targeted to an area generally between South Garnavillo Street and South Cleveland Street, along the south side of West Main Street. In total, 10 buildings were included in the grant.

Anamosa was one of five cities to received funding to revitalize their downtown, along with Clinton, Grinnell, Oskaloosa and Sigourney.

As part of the award, a number of items were on the agenda that must be approved for the grant to be officially awarded during the Sept. 28 meeting of the Anamosa City Council, including, but not limited to: a contract with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the contract for the Eastern Central Iowa Council of Governments to have them administer the grant, a policy prohibiting the use of excessive force by law enforcement and a policy on fair housing practices.

The approval of the nine documents in question was asked to be tabled by Council Member Rich Crump until the city attorney had a chance to look over the documents. The motion to table passed unanimously. The city has until Nov. 29 to fulfill the requirements of the contract and receive their funding.

Anamosa wasn’t the only local city to receive funding through the CDBG program, Mechanicsville received $500,000 for a wastewater treatment plant improvement plan, estimated to cost $2,188,500.

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