Members of the Iowa Economic Development Board expressed concern Thursday that a budget bill approved in the Iowa House would eliminate nearly $23 million dollars already awarded to businesses through the Iowa Values Fund. Board spokesperson Kanan Kappelman says the House proposal would also eliminate the program and move Iowa Values Fund money to the state’s general fund.
“We are taking a wait and see approach on how we are going to proceed with the upcoming year’s projects, as well as any developments in conjunction with the direct financial assistance programs that our department handles and works on,” Kappelman said. Democrats, who control the Iowa Senate, oppose the bill passed by the Republican-led House. Kappelman says it’s “business as usual” at the Department of Economic Development until the state budget stalemate is resolved.
“We’re hoping that we definitely can use those funds for the projects that have already gotten awards from us, but we’re still working with the legislature to determine how much can be carried forward,” Kappelman said. The Iowa Economic Development Board yesterday presented awards to projects in nine cities that are expected to create up to 263 jobs.
The largest direct financial assistance award of $475,000 will help Hipra U.S.A. build a new facility in Ames. “Hipra is a market leader in pharmaceuticals and vaccines for the prevention of diseases in food producing animals,” Kappelman said. The project is expected to create 60 to 80 jobs.
Another award of $250,000 is directed at manufacturer GMT Corporation for an expansion in Waverly. That project is expected to create 34 new jobs. Planned or proposed projects in Eldora, Waukon, Cedar Rapids, Independence, Hospers, Urbandale and Davenport also received awards.
More information is available here: www.iowalifechanging.com/Documents/documents.aspx?id=3>