The Creston City Council approved Jean Weisshaar’s request to authorize the mayor to sign a pre-application for a catalyst grant during its biweekly meeting Tuesday via Zoom.
WMZ Ventures is applying for a Community Catalyst Building Remediation Project grant, which would provide $100,000 toward the projected $150,000 to $200,000 of rehabilitating the “You are Beautiful” building, 107 N. Maple St., to house a retail or office space on the ground floor with three apartments on the second floor.
Weisshaar, Bill Mullin, Brian Zachary, and Julia Weisshaar own WMZ, which is also in the process of purchasing the Quilts and Other Notions building, 209 W. Montgomery
Jean Weisshaar said they are very invested in keeping Uptown Creston thriving.
“We have grand ideas for this building and as you know we’re working on the Create Creston building to work on the facade,” she said. “We’re really trying hard to put our money where our mouth is in this community and work on the uptown to make it look better for everybody.”
The improvements to 107 N. Maple would include exterior work on the front and rear, mechanical, HVAC and electrical work to bring the building up to code and make it more energy efficient.
Mayor Gabe Carroll reminded the council that the funding for the grant does not come from the city. In his letter to the council, Jeremy Rounds of Southern Iowa Council of Governments, which is assisting with the grant writing process, said the contribution needed from the city would likely be “very modest — the minimum to get the project done and meet the grant requirements.”
The catalyst grant is the same grant used last year by Hot Air Brewing to help with its building at 212 N. Maple St. The city provided in-kind services to Hot Air Brewing for its grant in the form of demolition and sidewalk repair work and infill materials for the sidewalk project. The labor and other contributions from the city totaled approximately $30,000.
A commitment for a specific dollar amount was not needed to approve signing the pre-application. It is an indication that the city supports the project. If the project is selected for the full application, the council would need to pass a resolution outlaying its financial support.
In other council business:
• liquor licenses were approved for the Elm’s Club, Una Mas Bar & Grill, and Feldhacker’s Family Fun Center
• the third and final reading and adoption of the amended sewer ordinance was approved unanimously with no discussion.
• the second readings of the fireworks and urban chickens ordinances were approved unanimously with no discussion.
• The surety bond through Tyler Insurance Agency to cover the mayor, city clerk, city administrator, accounting manager and other positions was approved unanimously with no discussion.
• the city’s comprehensive plan was approved by the council after a public hearing where Rounds of SICOG spoke on behalf of the plan and council member Matt Levine thanked Rounds for his contribution to the project.
• a resolution to approve a loan amendment application for a water resource restoration project was passed unanimously with no discussion.
• a resolution to approve an agreement with Iowa Department of Natural resources to purchase a property for the expansion of the water quality improvement project by the city was passed unanimously with no discussion.
• a public hearing was set for Feb. 2 regarding an easement to place a glycol chiller in the alley behind 212 N. Maple St.