Governor Culver says he’ll soon appoint a board of directors to help hand out the more than $800 million the state will borrow for infrastructure projects around the state.
Culver, who’s a Democrat, says he’ll appoint that six-member oversight board within the next ten days.
"The board will be composed of knowledgeable professionals who will ensure that the projects chosen have real value to Iowa’s communities," Culver says. "And they will also make sure these projects help bring communities like Cedar Rapids back as quickly as possible."
Some of the money has already been designed for specific projects. For example, $100 million is reserved to repair or replace buildings damaged by last year’s floods. But millions more will be available in the form of competitive grants from the state and Culver says that six-member board will decide which cities and communities get funding for new storm sewers, street repairs and other public infrastructure.
"The board will help us determine the ones that are most urgent," Culver says. "…Like the Vision Iowa board of directors, they’re going to make some very tough decisions on where we are going to invest this money."
The Vision Iowa program was launched during former Governor Tom Vilsack’s administration. Fourteen Vision Iowa grants totaling nearly $230 million were handed out for major recreational, cultural, education or entertainment facilities. The Vision Iowa board handed out another $110 million in Community Attractions and Tourism grants to over three-hundred projects in mid-sized and small towns in Iowa.