(Council Bluffs, IA) The Iowa West Foundation and Charles E. Lakin Foundation will each award $275,000 toward the construction of a new veterans building in Council Bluffs, to be located at the northeast corner of South Sixth Street and Sixth Avenue. The announcement follows the Pottawattamie County Supervisors recent vote to accept the low bid to build the 6,300-square-foot facility.
“Our board feels it’s important for veterans to be able to receive services right here at home in Pottawattamie County,” said Pete Tulipana, President and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation. “This new facility will allow for veterans to get the support they need and deserve.”
County voters approved a $1.5 million bond issue to pay for the facility in 2014, however, construction bids came in at a minimum of $700,000 above that amount. The Iowa West and Lakin Foundations will make up more than two-thirds of that funding shortfall and close the gap between the bond and bid amounts.
“Men and women who serve our country merit the best services we can afford to offer them,” said Charles E. Lakin. “Our Foundation supports this project because we truly believe this facility will make a difference in the lives of present and future veterans.”
The new building will be nearly four times as large as the current, cramped facility and provide office space for case workers as well as other agencies working with veterans. The space also will offer privacy for meetings, accessible hallways and a waiting area.
“The Board of Supervisors is grateful to be able to partner with the Iowa West and Lakin Foundations to make this a reality for veterans in our community,” said Justin Schultz, Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors. “
Pottawattamie County Supervisor Scott Belt acknowledged the missed opportunity to work with the nonprofit foundations from the outset of the project, but said he is grateful to have forged a partnership.
“We regret that we did not fully explore funding opportunities with these two outstanding foundations in the beginning,” he said. “Our Board recognizes the error of our ways and plans to work diligently with the foundations from here on out to make this project a reality for area veterans.”
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About the Iowa West Foundation
The Iowa West Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the Midwest. It has distributed more than $320 million in grants to non-profits and governmental agencies through southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska since the inception of its grant program. For more information on the Foundation, visit www.iowawestfoundation.org
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