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The Mount Ayr city council formally pledged their support for two grant applications targeted for renovations of the former Odd Fellows Hall building at 106 E. Madison Street.
At their December 20 meeting, the council had approved a project submitted by Matt Hudson as the city’s applicant for a $100,000 Community Catalyst Remediation Grant.
Hudson plans to develop the bottom floor of the building into store front/office space and the second floor into living spaces.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the council voted to move ahead with two grant applications related to the project.
If funded, the Community Catalyst grant would supply $100,000 toward the renovation of the first floor into retail/office space.
In approving the Catalyst application, the city pledged $10,000 plus another approximate $11,000 of in-kind donations.
At the December meeting, city administrator Brent Wise had shared a list of potential in-kind costs the city could include in the application.
Part of the project includes the demolition of the old laundromat and turning that space into parking.
Wise said the city could assist with the removal of the demolition debris as well as with supplying gravel for the parking area. The city could also waive fees for water and sewer hookups.
Other items such as engineering fees, replacement of sidewalk, and grant writing fees could already be included in a Downtown Revitalization project currently being considered by the council.
The due date for submission of the Catalyst grant application is January 31.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the council also approved application for a Housing grant.
If awarded the grant would provide up to $300,000 toward renovation of the second floor of the building into apartments.
The city pledged $2,400 plus $8,000 in-kind support for the Housing grant application.
Application deadline is January 31.
During discussion on the two grants, the question was raised on why the city was supporting renovations on this project when other remodeling projects are not similarly supported.
City administrator Brent Wise explained this project was eligible for potential grant support because it met the qualifications for the Catalyst funding, including adding retail/office space as well as living space. Location in the downtown revitalization zone also served as a qualification.
Wise added that other businesses that remodel their facilities, regardless of location, are eligible for tax incentives that also serve to offer the city’s financial support to such projects.
Bottom line, he said, was eventual increased revenue for the city in either case.
In other business, the council:
• approved the appointment of Sue Trullinger to the low rent housing board for a three-year term.
• approved two public hearings for 1) FY22 Budget Amendment Number 2 for February 7 at 6:15 p.m., and 2) Max Levy Budget for February 21 at 6:15 p.m.