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On December 7 eight Ringgold County residents presented a concept for the new pool planned at Judge Lewis Park to the Enhance Iowa Board in hopes of obtaining CAT grant funds.
Two Mount Ayr high school students, Ryce Reynolds and Hayden Ruggles, traveled to Des Moines to take part in the eight minute presentation. They spoke alongside pool committee members Jim Murphy and Tammy Rychnovsky, city representatives Ken Robertson, Mack Greene, Brent Wise and Amanda Cannon.
“We were the only community who brought high school students with us,” stated Jim Murphy, “they talked about the impact the pool had on them, from taking swimming lessons when they were younger, to summer employment as teenagers.”
Terry Niestadt with the Southern Iowa Council of Governments (SICOG) accompanied the group to speak about the upcoming project.
The committee working to bring the new pool to completion is striving to close a funding gap of approximately $647,000. Both a DEKKO grant and a CAT grant are being pursued, and the team will have a better idea of where DEKKO funding stands in February of 2024.
“It was definitely educational for all involved,” states Mount Ayr city administrator Brent Wise. “There are no guarantees, but it’s promising,” said Wise, “They told us it was a good project.”
The group was asked to return in March after learning whether a request for $500,000 in DEKKO funding is granted. Typically, the Enhance Iowa Program is the last entity to provide funding towards projects, helping fill the final gap after all other avenues have been pursued.
Wise stated the amount requested from the Enhance Iowa Program was initially $800,000, however, the request could be reduced to $300,000 if DEKKO funds are received.
The Enhance Iowa Program provides financial incentives to communities for the construction of recreational, cultural, educational or entertainment facilities that enhance the quality of life in Iowa.
The Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) Committee is a subcommittee of the Enhance Iowa Board, and evaluates applications for CAT funding. The board and committee meet monthly. The next meeting is scheduled for January 4, 2024.