The Clarinda City Council is giving its support to two grant applications for a renovation to the Chamber of Commerce’s building.
Meeting in regular session Wednesday, the council approved two grant applications to the Iowa Economic Development Authority for a proposed project to add two apartments to the top floor of the Chamber building at 115 East Main Street. Alexsis Fleener is community development director with the Southwest Iowa Planning Council, which is assisting with the applications. She says the first grant is a Community Catalyst Building Remediation Grant for $100,000.
“The grant application has to come from the city and the money has to flow through the city, but there is no match requirements on the city’s perspective,” said Fleener. “It’s $100,000 with the expectation that the grant gets matched by at least $100,000. That would be the Clarinda Chamber’s, it’s their project, so they would be responsible. They are working on solidifying the rest of the match for that.”
Fleener says the chamber is the planning stages to have a proposal ready as soon as grant funding is available.
“The intent is that it be pretty shovel-ready,” said Fleener. “I’m working with (The Clarinda Chamber Executive Director) Elaine (Farwell) to get quotes from contractors now. She’s doing that so we have the budget numbers to work on. Without getting super specific, because no contractor has been awarded yet, so they are not awarding to a specific contractor yet, until the grant funds are secured.”
The second grant application is a $20,000 Rural Innovation Grant from IEDA. Fleener says the competitive grant would help with matching the Community Catalyst grant.
“What makes this project a good fit for this grant is that we already have support from the school district that this work will be done by a contractor, but also will be done with the help of the high school students in the building trades program,” said Fleener.
The grant applications are due by April 15th and the chamber is expected to hear after that date if they are awarded the funding. In other business, the council approved a pay requisition to Building Crafts, Inc. for just over $319,000 for work on the wastewater treatment plant project and approved a request from Southwest Iowa Families for use of a city park for a Family Fun Night on May 1st.
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