May 29, 2024

Creston takes step forward with IEDA grant

The Comprehensive Neighborhood Revitalization Grant includes a proposed park on Adams Street.

After almost a year of planning, Creston is officially applying for the Comprehensive Neighborhood Revitalization Grant. The grant must partly go toward housing rehabilitation for low- and moderate-income people.

Southern Iowa Council of Governments Senior Planner Jeremy Rounds has taken lead on this project. Working with RDG Planning and Design, a number of priorities from Creston residents were discovered, including beautification and sidewalks.

Based on these many needs, Rounds said there were a number of projects included in this grant application.

“There will be a downtown streetscape improvement, including lighting, a linear park along Adams Street and the Uptown Plaza, which is a planned open space near the Adams/Elms street intersection,” Rounds said. “It will also include housing rehabilitation of owner and renter-occupied homes occupied by low- and moderate-income persons. There will also be a targeted sidewalk improvement program in that area.”

The grant application includes a linear park along Adams Street and a playground in a new uptown plaza.

If awarded the grant, the city of Creston would be awarded up to $1.75 million in Community Development Block Grant funds from the Iowa Economic Development Association. Matching funds will be required to finish the projects, which can come from the city, private property owners and other grants. The project as a whole is expected to cost approximately $2.35 million.

Rounds has been sharing the specifics on these projects the last few months as he and the Update Uptown Committee have planned and worked on the grant application.

Councilmember Richard Madison expressed his concerns over the changing in price, comparing the city’s proposed contribution at the beginning of planning to now.

“In previous information you listed $262,000 from the city, correct? Now it’s $276,300. Why the change?” Madison said. “My one concern is the ambiguity of the finances. I’d hate to vote to approve this and have it be another $50,000 the next time we get together.”

Councilmember Kiki Scarberry pointed out the vote was only for the city to apply for the grant. The city is making no financial commitments yet.

The council voted to authorize the application for the grant 5-1, with only Madison voting nay. Creston will compete against three other Iowa towns for this grant.

Erin Henze

Originally from Wisconsin, Erin is a recent graduate from UW-Stevens Point. Outside of writing, she loves to read and travel.