Tama, Monticello, Starmont get Iowa improvements grants – The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS — A northeast Iowa school district and two area communities are receiving $20,000 Rural Innovation Grants to help support the development of creative, non-traditional ideas.

In addition to $300,000 in innovations grants, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced $60,000 in rural housing grants, including $10,000 each for Central City and Springville in Linn County. In both cases, the communities will work with the Iowa State University Extension. There’s another $40,000 available for rural housing, so the Iowa Economic Development Authority is planning a second round of applications this fall.

Among the innovation grants were awards to Jones County Economic Development, the city of Tama and Starmont schools, which includes the communities of Lamont, Strawberry Point and Arlington.

The grants, part of the governor’s Empower Rural Iowa, are intended to help rural communities address current issues and challenges faced by rural communities.

In Jones County, Monticello will use the grant to cover nearly half of the $41,321 cost of developing the former Dollar General store as a “creative adventure lab” similar to one in Dubuque as well as an “innovation lab” with office space for the proposed Main Street Monticello.

The building is a gift from the Welter family of Monticello.

In Tama, the $20,000 grant will pay for two-thirds of the cost of a volunteer cleanup trailer and community party trailer.

The grant to Starmont schools also will cover two-thirds of the $30,000 cost of its project, Connecting Students Creating Augmented Reality Artwork, Highlighting Local Assets.


To see all of the awards, visit

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