Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

April 20, 2017 Featured - Kalona - Enhance Iowa Board awards $500,000 to Kalona
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

The City of Kalona will receive a half million dollar grant for the new community center from Enhance Iowa, City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh told the Kalona City Council Monday. But it comes with a caveat, he added. The city must raise $100,000 in private donations toward the project before June 30.

Schlabaugh explained that the Enhance Iowa Board wants to see such projects receive public monetary support. The city had believed the $3.9 million bond passage by city voters was enough.

The city had requested $800,000 in grant funding for the estimated $5.6 million community center project. Funding so far includes the $3.9 million bond passed by voters last year, two Washington County Riverboat Foundation grants totaling $400,000, city funds totaling $200,000 and $20,000 from Washington County.

At a previous meeting, city council members approved covering a projected $262,000 project short fall, which is to be repaid from further private donations. That short fall was based upon receiving the full $800,000 from Enhance Iowa.

KCTC big announcement

Schlabaugh said the Kalona Cooperative Technology Company (KCTC) was requesting permission to replicate the metal city signs displaying quilt blocks and hanging from downtown streetlights. The bottom of the signs would deal with a “big” announcement to be made at the annual KCTC meeting Tuesday, April 25.

The council approved the request, with the signs on display downtown through August. Schlabaugh presented his regular report: WCRF Grants: The English River Watershed Management Authority has submitted its grant proposal for equipment upgrades and hopes to find out in May if it is fortunate enough to be awarded. On Monday the 17th I submitted a formal request for extension on our $300,000 WCRF grant. They will make the determination on Wednesday the 19th. Enhance Iowa: The City of Kalona was awarded $500,000 towards our project. As of April 12 our expenses are reimbursable. The one item that we are ready to go with by the 19th is our private fundraising campaign. The Enhance Iowa Board is looking for the City to raise a minimum of $100,000 privately by June 30. Thanks to Ben Curtis, Marcus Hall and Ed Raber for assisting in all aspects of the grant proposal / presentations. YMCA: Our town ball numbers look to be in the 150 range. Practices for the older kids on both sides are able to begin now with the T-ball starting in the upcoming weeks. City Park: The City Park is formally open and ready for business. Trails Committee: The committee has some proposals to review and will be soliciting public input in the upcoming weeks. Numerous planning firms in the area submitted proposals. FEMA Community Rating System: We are going through the scoring process for our rating and hope to receive a score above 1,000 that would mean a 15 percent premium reduction. This is a huge undertaking and involves a lot of paperwork and some procedural changes on our end. We have 30 days to provide all of the documentation needed to FEMA in KC. Ben Curtis and I are working on the procedures and documentation needed. As we progress in the system with projects we are of the belief that we can get in the 20-25 percent category.(Currently only Iowa City / Coralville are at that level) Comprehensive Plan: We have a draft ready to go to council via email on Wednesday of this week. There are a few grammatical changes needed before we send it out for review. At that time, we will schedule a “Town Hall” style meeting to garner input. The planning section has been reviewed and the only change that we are waiting on is the approval of the FEMA floodplain verbiage that was provided to us last week. Community Center Equipment: Late this week or early next we will be getting in some new equipment (treadmill / elliptical / bike) for the public to try out. This would be the same equipment that we are proposing in the new facility. Flushing of Hydrants: We will be flushing hydrants on both Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Patching of roads: Kenny has been working on filling in the pothole areas in town. We should be completed on Tuesday of this week. ERWMA: The City of Kalona was notified that it was selected to implement the planning/outreach portion of the HUD grant. This will be approved by the ERWMA board on May 18 and at Iowa County on the 19th. The award is for $100,000 to be expended over the next 18 months. IFC: Last week the IFC was cut from the 17’/18’ state budget. Due to the public outpouring of support there was a special hearing the next day and while not all $ 1,500,000 was put back they tentatively put $1,200,000 in the FY budget.

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