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A local effort to refurbish and redevelop an historic downtown building and a downtown revitalization project in Mount Ayr has received $5,000 through a Power of Connection grant jointly administered by ITC Midwest and the Iowa Rural Development Council (IRDC).
The plan to renovate a historic 1876 Odd Fellows building is part of a larger effort to complete a downtown revitalization project in Mount Ayr. The city hired Tometich Engineering to provide a structural evaluation to support the building project, which has an estimated cost of $600,000.
The City of Mount Ayr has committed $500,000 to support a downtown revitalization project if awarded additional grant funding. The city is looking to add a storm water project as well. City leaders are pursuing grants to help fund the Odd Fellows building renovation as well as the downtown revitalization project, community catalyst building remediation project, and the downtown housing project.
The Power of Connection grant program, launched in 2019 by ITC Midwest and IRDC, is intended to help fund feasibility studies, strategic planning, and non-construction/equipment elements of a rural project. In Mount Ayr, the funding will be used to offset engineering and planning costs associated with the projects.
“The renovation of the Odd Fellows building will be a catalyst for future projects to revitalize our downtown area in Mount Ayr,” said Mount Ayr City Administrator Brent Wise. “We are very optimistic about the future of our community. We are working to develop our first economic development plan and strengthen our community by working with all government and locally owned entities. We are grateful to ITC Midwest and the IRDC for their partnership and for these grant dollars to support our project.”
“Maintaining an attractive downtown area is important to promote vibrant rural communities. By investing in the renovation of the Odd Fellows building, the city of Mount Ayr will create new opportunities for growth and enhanced quality of life,” said ITC Midwest President Dusky Terry. “Mount Ayr has exactly the leadership and vision needed for smaller, rural communities to thrive.”
Communities eligible for the Power of Connection program must have populations of under 10,000 and be outside of a metropolitan area. Power of Connection grant dollars cannot be used for construction, real estate, or equipment.