Officials in Dubuque and Council Bluffs were in Des Moines today to celebrate their selection as the state’s first “Vision Iowa” communities. The board that’s choosing which Iowa cities get state backing for large-scale projects has finalized the deal giving Dubuque a 40-MILLION dollar state grant for the “America’s River” complex along the Mississippi. Dubuque Mayor Terry Duggan says the award is “overwhelming.” Council Bluffs also finalized its 24-million dollar grant and seven million-dollar loan from the state for a new arena/convention center complex. Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan says to grow, Council Bluffs needs new recreation options for younger residents, and the arena will fill the bill. Governor Tom Vilsack was on hand for today’s “Vision Iowa” meeting. Vilsack says the projects are the realization of a dream. Smaller grants recently have been awarded to Atlantic, Red Oak and Marshalltown. Atlantic’s getting seven hundred thousand dollars from the state for a recreation facility. Hal Gronewald of the Atlantic Area Recreation Foundation says it’s a six million dollar project. Red Oak’s getting four hundred THOUSAND for a four-court tennis facility. Red Oak Mayor Karen Blue says it’ll be built next to the town’s new “Y”. Marshalltown today was awarded three-point-two MILLION for a Y-W-C-A expansion. Vilsack’s hometown of Mount Pleasant is getting a 120-thousand dollar state grant to help restore the local carousel. Officials from Sioux City are negotiating with the “Vision Iowa” board this afternoon in hopes of landing a grant for a Missouri Riverfront project.
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