CDG to receive $75,000 Challenge Grant

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) today awarded the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG) a $75,000 grant for the Mount Vernon Family Counseling building (formerly known as the Zoe’s Pet Deli building), 104 2nd Ave. North, Mount Vernon. Thirteen other Main Street Iowa communities also received grants.

“Tiffany Zarifkar and her new business Mount Vernon Family Counseling won the chance to compete in Des Moines after scoring highest in the CDG Design Committee’s annual IEDA Challenge Grant contest,” said Joe Jennison, Director of Main Street and Marketing for the CDG. “In Des Moines, this project then competed with 29 projects around the state from 29 different communities. I am proud of Zarifkar’s hard work to get this far and am pleased to see that the state has recognized the importance of preserving this historic building.”

“The Main Street Iowa Challenge grants have been instrumental in revitalizing Iowa’s historic main streets,” said IEDA and Iowa Finance Authority Director Debi Durham. “Reinvesting in our traditional commercial districts is good business. It’s good for our economy and good for our state. These projects will bring new businesses and new residents to our downtown districts.”

The grants are administered through IEDA’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa programs. The funding will be distributed in the form of matching grants to the selected Main Street programs. The estimated total project cost of these 14 projects is over $3.2 million.

“Each project must provide at least a dollar-for-dollar cash-match,” said Michael Wagler, state coordinator for the Main Street Iowa program. “In total, these projects will actually leverage significantly more than the state’s investment into bricks and mortar rehabilitation. This investment will have a significant economic impact within each district.”

Since the first Challenge Grants were awarded in 2002, approximately $11.6 million in state and federal funds have leveraged more than $59 million in private investment. Over the life of the program, 193 projects in 56 Main Street Iowa commercial districts across the state have received funding.