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Grant will Help Ottumwa Improve Downtown Buildings

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - A grant will help Ottumwa improve the look of buildings on a downtown block.

The Ottumwa Courier reported Tuesday the Iowa Economic Development Authority gave the city conditional approval for a $500,000 grant for the estimated $1.1 million project. Other funding will come from the city, the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation and property owners.

Ottumwa plans to make improvements to 16 of 18 building facades on a block within 18 to 24 months of receiving the grant. Two years ago, the block was designated a slum and blight area.

Planning and Development Director Nick Klimek calls it "virtually a complete face-lift for the 300 block of East Main Street."

Work already has begun to improve some facades, and ultimately officials say 93 percent of the properties will be renovated.

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