In the coming months, the Indianola City Council will consider extending the city’s Downtown Incentive Program that ended last year.
The Downtown Incentive Program helps current or incoming businesses pay for repairs and renovations to buildings located on Indianola’s square. This includes both buildings facing the square and buildings one block in every direction off the square.
“Taking advantage of that program, in which (businesses) have a chance to get a good portion of the overall costs taken care of, allows them to do two things,” Indianola City Manager Eric Hanson, said. “One, improve the building that they are in, the facade of the building. At the same time, those dollars they would have had to spend to do that they can put towards inventory, staff, equipment, those kinds of things, because the grant is there to help them deal with the overall aesthetics of the building they’re in.”
Businesses that applied and were approved could receive up to $50,000 in grants and zero percent loans for its renovation project.
“Fifty percent is in grant, and 50 percent is in loan,” said Chuck Burgin, director of community development in Indianola. “In a lot of cases, a lot of these buildings have exceeded the $50,000 dollars, so they max out at $25,000 of grant and $25,000 of zero percent loans. If a project is $50,000, we’ll give them $25,000 once the project is completed, and if they borrow $25,000, we will pay interest on that $25,000 for 10 years.”
The city considers the, now, three-year program to be a success.
“We’ve financed over $800,000 so far during the project on approximately 22 buildings,” Burgin said.
According to Burgin, there are still buildings on the square that “could take advantage of the program”. Businesses wanting the program to continue should contact City Manager Eric Hanson to find out when the council plans to meet to consider the extension and speak in favor of it at the meeting.