Seeking council’s support for Great Places application

A city staff member asked council for support to submit an application to add Marshalltown to the list of Iowa’s Great Places.

Michelle Spohnheimer, housing & community development director, spoke to the city council during a meeting Monday, as a team representative of a group of members from different organizations around Marshalltown and the Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance, that have been working on an application to submit to go to the Iowa Great Places destination and grant funding.

With the application, the group is looking to apply for $375,000 in state funding for three components to projects that will include public art, final street scaping and other outside enhancements around the city.

The first of the three components, in no particular order, Spohnheimer said, is 13th Street.

“That plaza area was created as part of work that was done last year,” Spohnheimer said. “We’ll have an addition of public art that has been on display for public input, so it will include that as well as finalized street scaping.”

The application will make a request of $100,000 from the state to help fund that project.

The second component is phase two of the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse renovations.

“A lot of their project in addition to the main major infrastructure improvements they are doing had some outside exterior and things like additional lighting, landscaping and some of those things that had to be cut out of their budget,” Spohnheimer said. “We would like to see an inclusion of public art in some fashion, whether that is inside the building or outside, it is yet to be determined.”

The application will make a request of $250,000 for phase two of the Roundhouse component.

The third component is the installation of public art at the Marshalltown Public Library’s prairie garden. To bring that forward, Spohnheimer said they will request $25,000.

“I think we have a very strong application,” Spohnheimer said. “We had a letter of intent that was submitted Oct. 1 and the state decided whether or not to invite you to formally apply. We were invited as a community to apply and so we are working on that application.”

The lead applicant for the project is the Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance.

“As a part of that application the state is looking to know that there is community support and in terms of they think this is a good idea, the designation is a community designation, known as the Iowa Great Places community,” Spohnheimer said. “We want to be sure the city council is supportive and favorable to that application as well.”

Council will make their decision to possibly give its support for the application at the next city council meeting Jan. 13. Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance’s deadline to submit the application to the Iowa Great Places is due Jan. 15.