The nation’s fifth-largest financial institution has the chance to bank more state money to expand its operation in Iowa. The Iowa Transportation Commission today approved a nine-point-nine million dollar grant request from West Des Moines for road improvements for a proposed expansion of the Wells Fargo mortgage and consumer credit unit. Wells Fargo was given a 10-million dollar forgivable loan in July as the first award from the state’s new Iowa Values Fund. Department of Transportation spokesman Stuart Anderson says the D-O-T money in the form of a “RISE” grant is an incentive. He says the “RISE” (Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy) funding is intended to influence the decision to make the company locate at the site. Anderson says if Wells Fargo does not locate at the site, the grant is not valid. The Iowa Values Fund award came under criticism from some as inappropriate for a billion-dollar company. Anderson says the approval was based on a promise of jobs.He says Wells Fargo has committed to retain 23-hundred jobs and create one thousand new jobs within two years of project completion. Anderson says the investment in the infrastructure for the project is also a determining factor. He says there’s a commitment of 175-million dollars in investment for the project. Anderson says there’s no deadline at this time for Wells Fargo to commit to the project to get the money. Anderson says a total of 26-million dollars in roadway improvements are necessary to develop the site, but the grant approved today limits RISE participation to the two main access points into the area.
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