The southwest Iowa town of Atlantic is having to return $100,000 it got through the state’s Vision Iowa grant program for a large park project. Atlantic Mayor John Krogman says the money is being returned as the city failed to get a fifth, requested extension on completing the Schildberg Quarry recreation area project.
Krogman says while a lot of work has been done on the project, not everything was done to the specifications spelled out in the contract the city entered into with Vision Iowa some four or five years ago. Officials with Vision Iowa told the city last year it could not ask for any more extensions.
Mayor Krogman says, “There was no commitment financially the city wanted to do at this point to move any further, so they asked for their money back.” Krogman says he managed to negotiate with the Vision Iowa managers about when the money needed to be returned.
While Vision Iowa wanted payment in full by New Year’s Day, Atlantic negotiated to have the funds paid back in two installments, with the first installment of $60,000 to be paid by January 1st, 2010. Krogman says the remaining $40,000 will be paid back by August 1st, 2010, which allows the funds to come out of the next fiscal years’ budget.
The initial proposal to Vision Iowa called for bathrooms, showers, shelter, recreational vehicle and primitive campsites and boat ramps. The city had already put $333,000 into the project with a paved trail and extension of water and sewer lines. Money came from the local-option sales tax and a $50,000 trails grant.
The Cass County Board of Supervisors contributed $20,000 because part of the Schildberg land is county property. Setbacks such as a flood that took out one levee and the levee being built as its replacement, along with issues over land reclamation, brought progress on the project to a standstill. It’s estimated Atlantic would need to chip-in another $500,000to finish the project.
Contributed by Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic