Des Moines is getting a four million dollar state grant to help develop the riverfront along the capitol city’s downtown area. The “Vision Iowa” board approved the grant yesterday. Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson says the Des Moines River is a great foil for the right kind of development. Pederson says cities along rivers have recognized the wisdom of developing riverfronts and making them “real assets” for citizens. Des Moines city councilman Chris Coleman says the riverwalk will belong to every Iowan. Coleman says the Des Moines River has been “too undiscovered.” The Principal Financial Group is the main backer of the project. The company’s giving 10-million dollars. Principal’s Mary O’Keefe says there’s been lots of public input on the project.O’Keefe says thousands of folks have visited Principal’s website to share their ideas for the project. She says Des Moines is “at the tipping point” with so many exciting projects underway. O’Keefe says in these economic times and budget times, “we’re going to do something different.” A pedestrian “promenade” will be built along the east and west sides of the Des Moines River. A fountain, gardens and ice skating rink are also part of the 26-point-four million dollar plan.
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