Glenwood Reapplying For Downtown Revitalization Funds
An application for a Downtown Revitalization grant in Glenwood has been denied, but a new application is expected to be filed this spring.
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Downtown Revitalizion program provides matching funds up to $500,000 to communities for improvements and restoration of facades on privately-owned buildings in the downtown business district. The program is coordinated through the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA).
The funding formula for the program requires owners of buildings selected for the revitalization project to pay for 25 percent of the cost. The governing body is required to commit to kicking in an additional 25 percent and the CDBG grant would fund the remaining costs.
Last October, the Glenwood City Council passed a resolution authorizing and directing Mayor Ron Kohn to make an application to the Iowa CDBG Fund for $497,299 to assist with the revitalization of eight properties in the city’s downtown business district. The total cost for the projects was estimated at just under $945,000, with the city contributing $243,453 and individual property owners kicking in $204,239.
Glenwood City Administrator Amber Farnan said the application for Glenwood was denied because two of the properties “were in too good of shape” to meet the criteria for CDBG funds.
The Downtown Revitalization program in Glenwood has been an on-going, collaborative effort between the Mills County Chamber of Commerce, City of Glenwood and Southwest Iowa Planning Council (SWIPCO).
Farnan said community advocate Joe George has been speaking with property owners and explaining the reason for the initial application being denied.
Farnan said the new application will include better photographs and a better description of the “blight” at each property.
“We’re supposed to be getting a blight scoresheet from the state, at least, so can see what they’re basing their Glenwood blight on so we can highlight those areas,” she said.
Farnan said Curtis Architecture and Design will continue to be a partner with the city during the process. The West Des Moines-based firm has assisted other Iowa communities in preparing cost estimates and designs for Downtown Revitalization projects.