State Not Likely to Pitch in $2 Million to Help Fund Cedar Valley SportsPlex
By Mike Wiser, Reporter
DES MOINES, Iowa - Backers of the Cedar Valley SportsPlex say they’re disappointed, but not discouraged, after being told the $2 million they want from the state probably won’t materialize.
The news came during a meeting of the Vision Iowa Board’s Community Attraction and Tourism review committee, where Rick Young, a leader of the group trying to get the $27 million sports complex built, made a pitch for state dollars. The committee works with communities that seek grant dollars from the state for tourism.
“You realize that we only have $5 million this year, $5 million next year and no money for administration?” committee member Charese Yanney asked Young. “What you’re asking is a lot of that to go to one project.”
Yanney and other board members told Young the group needed to secure more promises of private donations before the board would likely consider the request for $2 million.
“We’re not asking for $3 million any more, we started out asking for $5 million,” Young said. “What we’re asking for with the $2 million would be less than 10 percent of what the total project would cost.”
He said the group behind the project, Waterloo Development Corp., has already raised $19 million in private funds and has a couple more million in “asks” already in the community, with the potential donors waiting to see what happened at the state level before committing to the project.
“You’ve done a great job so far, I’m just saying don’t count on $2 million or $3 million,” Yanney said.
The complex is planned to take up two city blocks in downtown Waterloo. It has gymnasium, track and weight room space, as well as soccer and baseball fields.
Committee member Gene Beach advised Young to get confirmations from “all those asks you have out there” before coming back to board.
After the hearing, Young said he understood the committee’s position, and the group planned to continue its fundraising efforts in the community.
Daniel Watters, a member of the development corporation, added that cutting back on the size of the project wasn’t a good option.
“This was never set up to be a bare-bones project,” he said. “We want it to be first class.”
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