Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson is hosting a series of 10 public forums to discuss what makes the state great. It’s part of a new initiative called “Iowa Great Places” which calls on state agencies to work together to help revitalize communities. Pederson says state officials are being asked to reduce red tape and come up with new financial or technical resources to help Iowans at the local level. Pederson says the projects can be community-wide, or as small as a single neighborhood. They can be focused on anything from bringing in new entertainment to improving the curbside appeal of an area. “People at the local level have great ideas about making their place a great place and we want to assist in making that happen,” Pederson says. The state has set aside 300-thousand dollars that’ll be doled out in grants to communities that come up with improvement projects. A 10-member board will start reviewing the grant applications October 1st. Pederson already held public forums in Clear Lake on May 17th, in Spencer on May 18th, in Council Bluffs on May 19th, in Dubuque on May 23th, in Pella on May 24th and in Cedar Falls yesterday (May 25). More forums are scheduled tonight (May 26) in Muscatine, June 1st in Cedar Rapids, June 2nd in Des Moines and June 9th in Sioux City. Find more information on-line at