City Council Special Meeting

The Oskaloosa City Council held a special meeting and public hearing Thursday evening to consider a resolution approving the submission of a Community Development Block Grant application for downtown revitalization in Oskaloosa…

Total estimated cost of the project is just over $812,000 with the city requesting $390,000 in grants to improve facades in a targeted area of the downtown. The area is comprised of 41 buildings in the 100 block of High Avenue West, the 100 block of High Avenue East, and the 200 Block of High Avenue East.  A total of 11 owners, who collectively own or control 14 of the 41 properties within the target area, have expressed support for the application. Eligible buildings were rated “poor” or “fair” in the National slum & blight survey…
The CDBG Downtown Revitalization Program has been in operation for several years. During that time, a number of Iowa communities have participated and have successfully renovated portions or all of their downtowns. The local effort envisions the grant funds being used to encourage other public and private entities to donate funds to create a larger project than either pool of money could on its own. A variety of guidelines are used to preserve the downtown’s historical features and ensure all work complies with existing federal and state regulations.
$250,000 from the city would be used to pay architect fees, grant administration fees, and construction costs. If Oskaloosa is awarded a grant, an 18-month contract between the state and the city will be required. The contract would require the revitalization projects comply with various federal programs, including historic preservation and other regulatory guidelines. Building owners will be asked to sign temporary easements of 5-7 years to assure any work conducted under the program is not altered in the near future.
Motion to apply for the grant passed unanimously. Recipients of the grants will be announced in May, and target date for completion is the fall of 2017.

Story provided by Bob Ballard


Stay updated, sign up for our newsletter.