Jeremy Rounds, regional planner at Southern Iowa Council of Governments of Creston, met with the Greenfield City Council at a special meeting they held last Tuesday, Nov. 28, regarding a grant that is available to businesses in cities like Greenfield.
The grant is from the Community Catalyst Grant Program, and Greenfield’s council members decided six days later, at their next meeting, they’d like to participate in it.
“It’s a new state building remediation program and it’s $1 million they’re giving away across the state for creative projects to improve buildings that are deteriorated and underused, or maybe they’re not used at all or vacant,” Rounds said. “It’s mainly geared towards main street buildings, like on the square.”
Every small town has buildings that need revitalized, and that’s why Rounds likes the Community Catalyst Grant Program as a viable solution for Greenfield.
“There are buildings in just about every town in our area that were at one time important commercial buildings but maybe today they’re sitting empty, underused or are used for storage when they could be used for retail space,” Rounds said.
There is a pre-application process the City will have to survive before being selected for this grant. Pre-applications are due at the end of January.
The business Greenfield has chosen for this opportunity is the old bakery on the southwest side of the square.
“Cities can only [apply] for one building at a time. There’s a pre-application they submit after they’ve selected a building they want to participate with,” Rounds said. “We do the pre-application, and if they get invited for full obligation from the state of Iowa, we’ll submit that for the same building. If we don’t get invited we can try for another building to do a different project.”
There will be tax dollars involved with this endeavor, should Greenfield choose to pursue it, as the City needs a match to what the grant provides.
Greenfield Mayor Ron Smith stated following the Nov. 28 meeting that he and the council were looking for more information before they took action.
“I guess it’s something [the old bakery] can use if they get it,” Smith said. “They came up with another partner so they could get part of their match [to the grant]. They have the pre-application to fill out to see if they can even fill out the next part of it. Now it’s just wait and see if they make it through the first round, because there’s going to be a boat load of people wanting it.”