The Vision Iowa Board on Wednesday awarded grants totaling $443,000 to three communities. A $100,000 award will help finance the building of the Kossuth County Agriculture and Motorsports Museum in Algona. Ralph Savoy is a consultant who’s helped with the fundraising effort for the project.
He says the museum will also include a model train exhibit. “There’s probably going to be seven trains going around the track in a rather large facility,” Savoy said. “It’s going to be about 40 by 60 feet of train tracks. All three things will be interesting, but I think the trains will bring people back regularly.”
Organizers hope to open museum in time for the Kossuth County Fair in August. The building is located on the fairgrounds. Another Vision Iowa Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant was awarded to the northeast Iowa town of Janesville. Vision Iowa spokesperson Jessica O’Riley says the $148,000 award will help with the building of a nearly 500 foot long bicycle and pedestrian bridge spanning the Cedar River.
“What I really love about this project is they’ve called every household (in Janesville), requesting donations, at least twice,” O’Riley said. “So, I think there’s broad community support and it’ll be a great asset to that community.”
The old Barrick Road Bridge in Janesville has been closed for decades after it was damaged in a traffic crash involving a drunk driver. The largest CAT grant awarded Wednesday, $195,000, is going to the Family Museum of Arts and Sciences in Bettendorf.
The money will be used to expand the museum’s exhibit space. The total cost of the Bettendorf project is around $1.25 million.