Governor Culver, Lt. Governor Judge Announce $2 Million in 'Great Places' Grants
Projects in 16 communities combine state resources with local assets
For Immediate Release July 27, 2010
(DES MOINES, Iowa) –Governor Chet Culver and Lt. Governor Patty Judge today announced 25 Iowa Great Places grants totaling $2 million have been awarded to 16 communities across the state.
Now in its sixth year, Iowa Great Places is an initiative that combines state resources with local assets to help Iowans make their communities, regions, districts and neighborhoods great places to live, work and raise a family.
The grants announced today are funded through the I-JOBS program, which is designed to create and retain jobs, rebuild communities, invest in Iowa’s infrastructure and promote long-term economic growth.
“As Governor, I am pleased state resources are being combined with local assets to improve the quality of life in these communities and create economic opportunities,” Governor Culver said. “With these grants, these communities are taking their next steps in fulfilling their agreements with the state as part of the Iowa Great Places program.”
“During my travels across the state, I have seen many unique and interesting things that Iowa communities offer to residents and visitors,” Lt. Governor Judge said. “These funds are an investment in Iowa’s cultural infrastructure and will be instrumental in helping Iowa’s Great Places communities continue to grow and thrive as we move into the future.”
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs awarded the grants to the following Iowa Great Places: Appanoose County, Cedar Valley, Charles City, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Decorah, Iowa City/Coralville/North Liberty, Marion, McGregor/Marquette, Perry, Spencer, Tama County, Turkey River Corridor, Valley Junction, Van Buren County and West Union.
State agencies continue to work with other Iowa Great Places communities to achieve their visions by identifying technical assistance and existing programs such as grant and financial aid programs.
The list of Iowa Great Places communities, projects, descriptions and grant amounts follows:
Continued renovation of the Historic Ritz Theatre in Centerville. The theatre will seat 285 people and provide space for
dressing rooms, elevators and offices for community theatre performances.
River Renaissance Trail
Construction of the final segment of the river trail in downtown Waterloo. This segment will connect numerous outlooks along the river.
Ice House Museum
Construction to rebuild the Ice House Museum’s flood-damaged floor, raise displays above flood level and reduce vulnerability to future flooding.
Riverfront Park Development
Continued development of the riverfront, transforming an under-utilized area into a whitewater “kayak rodeo” course with amphitheater, recreation trails, picnic areas and storm water fountain.
River’s Edge Phase I
Construction of a “stand alone” riverside park that will include a Great Lawn, riverfront drive, amphitheatre, plaza and parking areas for community gatherings.
River Vision LeClaire Park Improvements
Construction of improvements to the Petersen Pavilion in LeClaire Park. This will allow venue upgrades between the recreational trails and the event space.
Norm Smith Plaza and Signage
Construction of park benches, picnic tables and plaza downtown on Water Street, along with signage on streets and highways.
Iowa City/Coralville/North Liberty
Literary Walk Expansion
This project expands public art on the Iowa City Literary Walk to the Northside Market. The art will include passages from famous authors, some of whom lived and worked in Iowa City. This project will connect the northside neighborhood to Iowa City’s downtown Literary Walk and tell the story of the City of Literature.
Iowa City/Coralville/North Liberty
Ranshaw House Renovation Phase I
The historic house will receive comprehensive exterior, interior and property improvements to serve as a History and Visitors Center. The center will tell the story of the Iowa farmer and will be a featured attraction for the City of Literature.
All Trails Lead to Marion Phases I & II
Construction of a trail along the right-of-way of an abandoned railroad line to allow pedestrian and bike usage between Marion and Cedar Rapids.
Lowe Park Phases I & II
The City of Marion will expand its amenities at Lowe Park by adding a proposed amphitheatre and ice rink for the performing arts during all seasons.
Thomas Park Phases I & II
Construction of a new facility at Thomas Park to support an outdoor picnic area, open pavilion, and meeting and community rooms.
Wetlands Centre & Emma Big Bear Nature Trails
Construction of the Wetlands Centre Roundhouse Pavilion and event plaza – an enclosed and open-air venue for school groups, farmers markets, concerts and private events in Marquette.
Perry Resource Center
The completion of the downtown Resource Center will transform a historic building into a center for culinary arts with collaboration with Des Moines Area Community College.
Clay County Heritage Renovation
The restoration of an automotive store exterior – to be converted into a history museum – will bring the structure up to present building code requirements, improving energy efficiency and relocating the entrance for handicap accessibility.
Dysart Historical Center
Construction of a historical agricultural display that will tell the story of agriculture and its importance to rural Tama County.
Otter Creek Lake & Park
Development of the Hansen Addition to the expansion of Otter Park. The funds will be used to establish native vegetation on 60 acres of the Hanson Addition.
Traer Salt & Pepper Shaker Gallery
Construction of a gallery to develop and display the Midwest’s largest collection of shakers as a tourist attraction.
Weiting Opera House
This grant will assist in the restoration of this historic structure in Toledo to a full community theater. The restoration will include additional seating and maintain the building’s structural integrity.
Turkey River Corridor
Recreational Trail Phase I
This project will complete the project’s final phase to ensure safe passage under Highway W51. The culvert is an essential component of the trail to ensure safe passage for users under the highway.
Historic City Hall Renovation
Restoration of the Valley Junction Old City Hall with a welcome center, classroom area, computer lab and a history museum.
Van Buren County
Morris Park. Restore exterior of historic red barn to preserve structural integrity of building.
Van Buren County
Cantril Cabin Accessibility
Enhance handicap accessibility at the Waubonsie Park’s Cantril Cabin for Villages Folk School arts and folk arts experiences.
Van Buren County
Renovation of the Morris Park shelter house to allow Villages Folk School classes.
Continued construction of the sustainable green street project in the six-block downtown area, including porous pavers, sidewalks, rainwater harvesting and reuse, and rain gardens.
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The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at www.culturalaffairs.org.