Grant Program Launches for Rural Iowa Communities to Manage Abandoned Buildings
Posted: 09/08/2011
DES MOINES - Starting Sept. 8 small Iowa communities can apply for funding to address neglected buildings in a new grant program from the Iowa DNR’s Financial and Business Assistance Section.

The Derelict Building Grant Program provides small communities and rural counties financial assistance for abandoned commercial and public structures. Grants will help improve the appearance of the streets, revitalize local economies and alleviate the environmental concerns these buildings can pose.

Rural communities with populations of 5,000 or less qualify. Financial assistance will include asbestos removal, building deconstruction and renovation and other inspections and site assessments.

The DNR is partnering with Keep Iowa Beautiful in the application and review process for the program. The applications are due Nov. 1, 2011.

"Downtown buildings that have become a blight or ‘eyesore’ are a costly problem to deal with. This beautification effort will serve as a stimulus for building community pride along with cultural and economic vitality," said Gerald Schnepf, executive director for Keep Iowa Beautiful.

Because of the source of the funding, projects must have a reuse or recycling component to be eligible. “It is our hope that this program will provide a valuable service that will benefit rural communities throughout Iowa, while diverting materials from landfilling,” said Brian Tormey, chief of the DNR’s land quality bureau.

For more information and to obtain an application for the Derelict Building Grant Program, go to http://www.iowadnr.gov/Environment/LandStewardship/WasteManagement/BusinessIndustry/DerelictBuildingProgram.aspx or contact Scott Flagg at (515) 281-4876 or Scott.Flagg@dnr.iowa.gov.