(Council Bluffs, IA) The Iowa West Foundation Board of Directors recently approved $4.4 million in grants and initiatives funding to 22 nonprofit organizations and government entities in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska.
The City of Council Bluffs received $2 million for the parking garage to be constructed on the Iowa side of the Missouri Riverfront.
“Through our partnership with the city, the Riverfront is now active with events like Loessfest, public art, a community building, trails, and more that can be enjoyed year-round,” said Pete Tulipana, President, and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation. “People need a place to park in order to access all of these amenities. The garage is necessary if we’re serious about attracting residents and visitors to live, work and play at the Riverfront.”
The five-level, 743-stall structure will cost $13.8 million in total. While the City will match the Foundation’s $2 million contribution, IWF also will cover the tax increment financing shortfall, projected at $1.9 million for the first five years. IWF also will guarantee payment if, for any reason, the development is not completed and there is a TIF shortfall.
The City of Council Bluffs also received approximately $25,000 for holiday lights in Bayliss Park. In the past few years, the city has sought to restore the display to its former prominence. The Iowa West Foundation grant will allow the city to install custom lighting on the trees in the park and continue the forward momentum.
“Whether driving by or walking around the park, visiting the holiday lights at Bayliss Park has become a tradition for many of our residents,” said Mayor Matt Walsh. “Thanks to the grant from Iowa West, we get to expand the display this year and give our residents even more to enjoy.”
This year’s lighting ceremony will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16th from 6-8 p.m. and kick off Winterfest. Attendees can enjoy family-friendly activities in the park and at partnering locations around the park, in addition to hot chocolate and cookies. The hope is to attract visitors from throughout Pottawattamie County and surrounding areas and increase traffic to Bayliss Park overall during the winter months.
In the focus area of education, the Council Bluffs Community Education Foundation received $426,775 for the STARS post-secondary scholarship program geared toward adult parents.
“The scholarship, academic counseling, and resource support that is afforded because of the funding from Iowa West allows parents to complete degrees or professional licenses while working and caring for their children,” said Program Director Brenda Moran. “Scholars receive funding for everyday needs such as auto repair, gas cards, child care, internet bills and more. This allows them to dream and hope for a future where they can enjoy a career and better support their families.”
Kathleen Rapp, Vice President of Grants and Initiatives for the Iowa West Foundation noted, “We know that more than 60 percent of jobs in the metro area require a postsecondary degree or credential. STARS is an effective and supportive program that helps ensure working parents can earn their degree or professional license and provide a better life for themselves and their families.”
The Foundation also awarded funds to two Pottawattamie County fire departments as part of its ongoing commitment to rural southwest Iowa communities. The Crescent Volunteer Fire Departments received $10,000 for bunker gear and the Walnut Volunteer Fire Department received $7,567 for equipment.
The Letter of Inquiry period for the Cycle 1 of 2018 grant application process opened on November 1 and will close Nov. 15 Applications are due Dec. 15th, Grant application and initiative decisions will be made in February.
About the Iowa West Foundation
The Iowa West Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the Midwest. It has distributed more than $400 million to nonprofits and governmental agencies through southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska since the inception of its grant program. Funding for the grants comes from investment earnings and the Iowa West Racing Association, which receives contractual fees from casino operators, Ameristar and Harrah’s. IWRA is the license sponsor for Ameristar and Harrah’s and the license holder for Horseshoe-Bluffs Run. The Foundation targets resources into programs and projects that focus on economic development, education, placemaking and healthy families.
Cycle 3 2017 Grants and Initiatives:
Angels Among Us, Inc.
Family assistance program – Pottawattamie County
Blue Barn Theater
Programming support for 2017-2018 season
City of Carroll
Kellan’s Kingdom: Carroll’s first all-inclusive playground
City of Council Bluffs
Bayliss Park holiday lights
River’s Edge parking garage
City of Crescent
City of Denison
Community Education Foundation
Classroom grants for teachers 2017-2018
S.T.A.R.S. scholarship program for adults
Downtown Riverfront Trust
Iowa/Nebraska Riverfront study
Capacity Building/Executive Director Search
Heartland Family Service
Housing and Emergency Task Force (HEAT)
Iowa Legal Aid
Community stabilization project
Iowa Western Community College Foundation
Access to performing arts programs
Shelter Reimagined campaign
Omaha Botanical Center, Inc.
The Recycled Art of Sayaka Ganz, Kim Merz, and Aurora Robson
Adventures in Music
Omaha Zoological Society
“Falstaff,” “Medea,” and “Proving Up” productions
Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment
Arts and Culture Center
Building healthy relationships through theatre in Council Bluffs
Shelby County Historical Society
Military exhibit hall
Walnut Volunteer Fire Department
Compressed air foam system, Pagers, Parkas, and Blowers
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