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Maquoketa Ag Learning Center

Notes for Enhance Iowa Grant https://www.traveliowa.com/industry-partners/grants/enhance-iowa/

Gruis' thoughts in red. -- This page will likely more than may be needed for the Enhance Iowa Grant...just my thoughts. - Dale Gruis


  • Applications are accepted quarterly – the next deadline is October 15, 2018

The Enhance Iowa program is comprised of four funds:  

  • Enhance Iowa,

  • Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT),

  • River Enhancement Community Attraction and Tourism (RECAT) and Sports Tourism.

The CAT program assists projects that will provide

  • recreational,

  • cultural,

  • entertainment, and

  • educational attractions.

  • Per Grant Description: The facility may provide an "educational attraction" or opportunity for neighboring, smaller school districts. Eastern Iowa Community includes Clinton Community College, but CCC does NOT offer agriculture programs. The Ag Learning Center may evolve as Clinton Community College-area's agriculture site.

The project must be available to the general public for public use and be primarily vertical infrastructure.


Section 8.57(5)(c), Code of Iowa, Definition of Vertical Infrastructure

"vertical infrastructure" includes only land acquisition and construction, major renovation and major repair of buildings, all appurtenant structures, utilities, site development, and recreational trails. "Vertical infrastructure" does not include routine, recurring maintenance or operational expenses or leasing of a building, appurtenant structure, or utility without a lease-purchase agreement. However, appropriations may be made for the fiscal years beginning July 1, 1997, and July 1, 1998, for the purpose of funding the completion of Part III of the Iowa Communications Network.

An eligible applicant to the program is a city, county, non-profit organization, or a school district in partnership with a city.  At least 65% of the funds must be raised prior to submitting an application.

The CAT application calls for a broad base of funding sources, which has been interpreted as requiring cash contributions from the city, county, and private sources.  Up to 25% of the local match can be made up of donated labor and materials (in-kind contributions).


Example Grants Awarded:

City of Bellevue – Walkways for Life Date of Award: 8/8/2007 Award Amount: $130,000 Project Description: This project includes two components. The first component is to upgrade the pedestrian transportation system in the commercial area of the City. The upgrade includes rehabilitating the sidewalks in downtown, landscaping, and installing period streetlights and receptacles on each block. The second component the construction of a half mile paved trail.

City of Maquoketa – Area Recreational Center, The ARC Date of Award: 4/13/2005 Award Amount: $825,000 Project Description: The Area Recreation Center will be a 36,000-square foot facility with indoor swimming pool, outdoor mist plaza, gymnasium and jogging/walking track, an exercise/aerobic room, and weight room.

Maquoketa Fine Arts Center, Inc. – Maquoketa Fine Arts Center Date of Award: 8/8/2001 Award Amount: $143,649 Project Description: The Maquoketa Fine Arts Center will include a 700-seat auditorium, large reception hall, and art display area.


Briggs Woods Conference Center, Webster City

Note: Briggs Woods is a golf course

Total Project Cost: $2,042,460

Amount Requested: $350,000

Award Amount: $350,000

Project Description: This project includes the construction of a conference center with capacity to hold 350 people, additional meeting space for 30 that can function as a food service space, office space, restrooms, a commercial kitchen and storage areas.


King Theatre Renovation, Ida Grove

Note: Ida Grove is a town of 2,100 people. King Theatre has been inactive since 2010 when the previous owner could not keep pace with the building’s necessary upkeep nor the transition to the digital age of films.

Total Project Cost: $419,099

Amount Requested: $62,005

Award Amount: $62,005

Project Description: This project includes expanding the lobby, installing new ADA compliant restrooms and redesigning the ticket taking and concession areas of the historic King Theatre.

The Enhance Iowa Program provides financial incentives to communities for the construction of recreational, cultural, educational or entertainment facilities that enhance the quality of life in Iowa. To date, 19 CAT awards have been granted by the board, totaling $5,803,302. The next Enhance Iowa Board meeting is scheduled for August 9, 2017, in Washington.


Enhance Iowa - Iowa Stories >> relevant points on grant webpages

Key Uses to  Include about the Maquoketa Ag Learning Center:
  • Agrotourism - Unlike most other disciplines, agricultural education is conducted year-round / day & night. The Ag Learning Center is intended to be 'the' location in eastern Iowa where groups can meet and learn about agriculture in eastern Iowa.
  • Biotechnology - The World Congress of Industrial Biotechnology will be held in Des Moines, Iowa in July 2019. Iowa is a leading location in the world. The Ag Learning Center will include scientific equipment to provide an opportunity for students and business & industry to learn about and stay up-to-date on biotechnology advancements. Because research on humans is often avoided, agriculture will continue to lead biotechnological developments.
  • Medicine, the environment and agriculture

    Significant medical breakthroughs are happening via synthetic biology.  

    The synthetic biology revolution is now << article link



Comparison of agriculture in two Iowa counties (PDF's attached at bottom)
  • Hamilton County is Webster City, Iowa
    • County Comparisons: Jackson to Hamilton County
      • The number of farms in Jackson County increased from 2007 to 2012, whereas many other counties had decreases like Hamilton
      •  % Land in Cropland
        • Hamilton: 93.3% vs. Jackson 69.3%
          • Jackson 12.7% Woodland, 14.1% Pasture
          • Jackson Co. has unique potential for Agritourism >> http://www.iowagrouptravel.com/agritourism/ 
            • The Ag Learning Center in Maquoketa will provide a unique facility to maximize education about area-agriculture and woodlands; woodlands which are unique to eastern Iowa near the Mississippi.
            • Plan to see the Ag Learning Center added to the following site >>  http://www.iowagrouptravel.com/eastern-iowa/ 
            • 4-H, FFA, tourists, and community members would have access to the Ag Learning Center outside of the regular school day/year.
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Dale Gruis,
Sep 27, 2018, 6:47 PM
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Dale Gruis,
Sep 27, 2018, 6:45 PM
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