The Iowa Transportation Commission has approved a settlement with the city of Ottumwa for not creating the promised number of jobs tied to a state road grant. The DOT’s Craig Markley, says the award was a Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy or RISE grant.
“Back in 2009 the City of Ottumwa was awarded $369,494 to assist with constructing a roadway that provided access to a U.S. Job Corps center that they had been successful in getting to come to Ottumwa,” Markley says. He says the center did not end up bringing as many jobs as promised for the grant. “That job contingency was 130 jobs — they were only successful in creating 108 jobs. So, they were short about 17 percent,” according to Markley.
He says the city agreed to pay back $22,118 of the grant to make up for the shortage in jobs promised. Markley says it is rare for the RISE programs to fall short of their job goals. “It doesn’t happen very often…it’s got to be less than 10 percent, probably less than five percent,” Markley says. “Just recently we’ve had several come up — about one the last couple of three commission meetings — and probably a couple of more coming up. That’s only because the policies have changed over the last year, so we have been working in getting the ones in arrears through that new process.”
The RISE program awards grants for things such as access roads to help spur business. The grants can be awarded based on a promise of jobs, or to help spur business development.