Two Northwest Iowa Towns Get Empower Rural Iowa Grants

Des Moines, Iowa — Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority have announced that a total of more than $450,000 in grants have been awarded through six Empower Rural Iowa Grant Programs. The grant awards will support rural initiatives spanning from child care and housing to workforce attraction and leadership development in more than 20 counties. And two of them are to communities in our primary coverage area.

Governor Reynolds says she signed the Empower Rural Iowa Act in 2019 to ensure that the rural communities that are the heart of who we are as a state have the resources needed to connect, invest and grow. She says that since then, Empower Rural Iowa grants have provided support for dozens of now thriving businesses, communities and entrepreneurs in Iowa’s rural communities.

In our area, the Hartley Improvement Foundation is receiving $20,000 toward a nearly $33,000 project. Hartley has an existing paved trail of .43 miles. They tell us the proposed longer trail project receiving funds would go around the perimeter of Hartley, with portions on the north side of Highway 18. A major
need for the trail would be a safe way to cross Highway 18. The funds from this grant request would be used to purchase and install a system using Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons(RRBF) to cross Highway 18.

And the City of Rock Valley was awarded a $1000 grant for a Rural Leadership Bootcamp. State officials tell us the program targets rural communities who want to start a local leadership program and work to engage participants in community leadership roles. Grantees will participate in a two-day bootcamp resulting in a work plan and a one-year mentorship.

More information about the Empower Rural Iowa Grant programs is available at



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