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New funding available for cities and counties to deal with abandoned state buildings

DES MOINES — The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has created two new competitive funds to help with community development.

IEDA spokeswoman Kanan Kappelman says the two funds are targeted at specific types of buildings. She says they are for dilapidated state-owned properties, and both cities and counties can apply for the funds.

Kappelman says there are many communities which might have a vacant state building. “State-owned properties might have been vacated due to lack of use…so this is our way of supporting cities or counties wishing to utilize such properties for perhaps economic or revitalization purposes,” Kappelman says.

The state legislature appropriated six million dollars to be used for the program. “There are two separate funds. The vacant state building demolition fundand the rehabilitation fund,” according to Kappelman. “Each of these funds provides up to one million dollars in either grants or loans per year for the next three years.” Kappelman is not sure how many empty state buildings there may be across Iowa.

Applications for the 2020 fiscal year are currently being accepted via iowagrants.gov. Applications are due by November 27th and will be scored by I-E-D-A based on criteria that includes evidence of project readiness and the redevelopment plan. The awards will be announced in December.



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