In a special presentation ceremony yesterday (Tuesday) at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, the Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded more than $965,000 in Main Street Iowa Challenge Grants. Fourteen communities around the state will be using the grants for restoration, stabilization and rehabilitation projects and for expansion of their downtown businesses. Jefferson has received one of those grants in the amount of $74,500 that will be matched with $200,000 to update the Kendall Building. Another $61,000 in technical assistance grants was also awarded during the ceremony. Twelve Main Street Iowa communities will receive funds to provide professional services in the development of projects, including architectural and engineering services, business sign programs and historical research. Jefferson was once again brought to the podium to receive a $5,000 grant for wayfinding signage. Main Street Manning was also able to garner a $3,500 grant for their streetscape engineering services. The entire Manning project will be well over $200,000 for improvements on a two-block area of Main Street. Main Street Board President, Ron Reischl, said this money will be used for the engineering of special mid-block walk outs that will create a safe area for the handicapped, elderly and young to cross. These technical grants will be doubled with a dollar-for-dollar match from the community.
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