Community leaders from six Iowa cities spoke out today for creation of ahuge state fund for cultural and sports attractions. Governor Vilsack and some republican legislators envision a fund of between two-hundred and three-hundred million dollars to dole out to cities forsports arenas, museums and other attractions. It’s a tough sell for somerural lawmakers who see large, urban centers in Iowa getting all thebenefits. Barry Bruner — a community leader from Carroll — says he”lost” his son to the better life in Minneapolis — and Bruner supports theidea of state investment in urban cultural centers.Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce Vice President Suki Cell islobbying on behalf of a 280-million dollar rainforest/education center forCedar Rapids. She says there are many large and small projects across the state that can make a difference.Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce President Bob Mundt is lobbying on behalfof a 150-million dollar convention center/arena complex near Bluffs Run. He says it’s a tremendous opportunity for communities to improve theirquality of life.Dennis Gann, a tourism official from Sioux City, is lobbying on behalf of a12-thousand seat sports arena which would cost from 40- to 60-milliondollars to build.Janette Yoerg moved to Iowa four years ago when her husband wasoffered a job in Eddyville. After living in places like San Francisco, NewYork and Minneapolis, she regrets the cultural events her kids are missing. Yoerg is part of a group in Ottumwa pushing for a 20-million dollar CivicCenter for Ottumwa.House Speaker Brent Siegrist, a republican from Council Bluffs,says it’ll be a tough sell, but he’s confident a majority of legislatorswill support making the state investment in community attractions.
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