Four Iowa communities won awards today from the state board that hands out money for tourism, entertainment and recreation projects. The largest award from the “Vision Iowa Board” was seven-point-five million dollars given to Ottumwa for a project called the “Bridge View Center.” Ottumwa Mayor Dale Uhling says the center includes an events center, renovation of the historic Ottumwa Coliseum and a new arts center.Uhling says the project is much larger than Ottumwa or Wappello County, and says it will benefit all of southeast Iowa. The total project will cost over 20-million dollars. The Vision Iowa Board made three awards for “CAT,” or Community Attraction and Tourism grants. Cedar Rapids won a two-point-four million dollar “CAT” grant for a downtown project. It includes three main components; renovation of the Paramount Theatre, development of an art museum and restoration of Grant Wood’s home and studio, and renovations at the Science Station. Suki Cell is with the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce. She calls it a terrific day for the city and says it will bring excitement to downtown Cedar Rapids.Spencer won a 400-thousand dollar CAT grant for a convention center that’ll be built on the Clay County Fairgrounds. Phil Hurst is the manager of the Clay County Fair says the total project will cost over four million dollars.The final grant of 200-thousand dollars went to Onawa for a community recreation center.
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