Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 22, 2018

Enhance Iowa to meet in School auditorium

By David Hotle | Aug 07, 2017
The Enhance Iowa Board will hold a monthly meeting in the center the board members helped to create.



Just a few short years after granting the funds needed to complete the Washington Performing Arts and Event Center, the Enhance Iowa Board will hold a monthly meeting in the center the board members helped to create.

Enhance Iowa Board administrator Nicole Shalla said several new groups would be presenting at the meeting to attempt to secure grant funding. She said many were first-time presenters from applications submitted in July. No Washington entities are on the agenda.

“We try to visit things we have helped fund as much as possible,” Shalla said. “I think it is good for the board to see the completed projects. When they come in, it is just on paper and we have presentations from people. Any time we can see completed projects, everyone is excited about it.”

Enhance Iowa — Vision Iowa at the time — granted $800,000 to complete the fundraising for the Washington Performing Arts and Events Center in March 2015. This was the fifth Vision Iowa award made in Washington County totaling $2.5 million. The other projects included: the Marr Park Education Center, Wellman Parkside Activities Center, Washington Free Public Library, and the Kalona downtown streetscape. The total cost of these projects is $22 million.

The meeting begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the center. It is free and open to the public. Enhance Iowa is a board made up of gubernatorial appointees that administers the Community Attractions and Tourism Grant Program. The board meets monthly.

Shalla said the closest grant applicant this month is the City of Muscatine, which hopes to build a new library and construct new nature trails and cabins. Other agenda items include an amendment of the contract with the Audobon Recreational Foundation, as well as reports from the tourism and legal committees.

Shalla remembered the funding the group granted to complete the auditorioum project, She said the partnership between multiple public entities was what made the projects enticing to the board for funding.

“I remember the board was very excited about the partnership between the city, the school district, and the board that was put together to help manage the auditorium,” she said. “They were excited about the community support for the project.”

A variety of funding sources was needed for the auditorium committee to reach the $7.4 million budget needed for the project.


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