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Nearly $3.4 million in CAT and Sports Tourism grants awarded to 11 communities

April 4, 2024

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Jessica O’Riley, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Nearly $3.4 million in CAT and Sports Tourism grants awarded to 11 communities

April 4, 2024 (DES MOINES) – At today’s meeting, the Enhance Iowa Board awarded $3,025,047 in Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grants to projects in 10 communities and a $350,000 Sports Tourism Grant to Newton Community Events, Inc, to promote the NASCAR race weekend at the Iowa Speedway in Newton. 

Details for the projects receiving CAT grants follow:

The City of Fort Dodge and Webster County Conservation Board were awarded $400,000 toward the construction of $4,497,465 in park improvements including construction of a multi-purpose pavilion with seating for 200 people, a skate park, a shelter, green space, restrooms, swings, trails and native planting.

The City of Atlantic was awarded $102,047 toward the construction of an approximately 4,500 square foot water-based aquatic venue with a variety of features including fountains, spray pad, dump buckets and water cannons. Total project cost is $690,000.

The City of Clear Lake and North Iowa Cultural Center and Museum were awarded $400,000 toward the construction of the Surf District Music Enrichment and Immersive Center with a lobby, ticket office, gift shop, rooftop observation deck/performance space and 1,800 square feet dedicated to showcasing Clear Lake’s place in music history.

The Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Association in Mt. Pleasant was awarded $210,000 toward the development of 100 additional camping sites, restoration of an existing heritage electric railway passenger car and purchase of an additional heritage electric railway passenger car. Total project cost is $1,420,111.

The Des Moines Community Playhouse in Des Moines was awarded $400,000 toward modernizing and expanding the Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre including a building expansion, storage and workshop space, meeting room, new costume shop and a configurable seating system to replace the existing fixed theatre seating. Total project cost is $2,736,481.

The City of Kalona was awarded $400,000 toward the $2,570,864 construction of a splashpad, natural playscape, large and small dog parks, parking and restroom facilities with an attached dog wash station.

Clayton County Conservation was awarded $220,000 toward the construction of a mile of paved trail to create the first segment of a two-mile looped trail connection between the existing termini of the Pony Hollow Trail. The trail extension will separate users from vehicle traffic on Highway 13. Total project cost is $1,098,140.

The City of Carroll was awarded $203,000 toward $1,019,000 in renovations to Merchants Park including press box improvements and expansion, bleacher improvements with ADA access and seating, baseline and backstop protective netting, dugout expansion, field lighting and fencing.

The City of Rock Valley was awarded $350,000 toward park improvements including accessible playground equipment with new fall-safe surfacing, interior trails and perimeter sidewalks to increase walkability, a new community event stage, open-air park shelters, a four-season shelter house and security lighting. Total project cost is $2,160,142.

The City of Mt. Ayr was awarded $340,000 toward the $3,243,700 replacement of the existing pool with a 4,000-square-foot outdoor pool with lap lanes, two diving boards, current pool, spray features, a family slide, a traditional slide, zero depth entry, sunshades and lighting.

Details for the project receiving a Sports Tourism grant follows:

Newton Community Events, Inc. was awarded $350,000 toward marketing the NASCAR Xfinity Series and ARCA Menards Series races on June 14-16. The funds will go toward a multi-media campaign in Iowa and Omaha, a street team, promotional events and small business activations.

The Enhance Iowa Program provides financial incentives to communities for the construction of recreational, cultural, educational or entertainment facilities that enhance the quality of life in Iowa. To date, 149 CAT grants have been awarded by the board, totaling $50,230,070.

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