Task force receives $1 million today
The Vision Iowa Community Attraction and Tourism board awarded the Fairfield Recreational Facilities Task Force $1 million at its meeting earlier today.
Task force chairman Tom McMahon was “ecstatic” upon learning the news. The task force requested $1.4 million from Vision Iowa, a part of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. He said the task force was hoping Vision Iowa would award the pool and gym project somewhere in the neighborhood of $800,000.
“We were very excited to get something so close to our number,” he said. “It exceeded our expectations.”
The grant from Vision Iowa does come with one string attached, however. The money will only be awarded if the task force is able to raise an additional $240,000 for the pool and gym project. If the task force fails to do this, it will receive no grant money at all from Vision Iowa.
“We have 60 days from today to raise that money,” McMahon said. “I think we can do that. We know there have been some folks sitting on the sidelines. They wanted to be the last dollars in, and we’re going to ask them to be that.”
McMahon said he feels the project is very close to the finish line now that it has received the Vision Iowa grant. He hopes that will sway some people to donate to the cause.
“Fairfield and Jefferson County have always been a generous community,” he said.
McMahon said the task force’s presentation to the Vision Iowa grant board went very well. He said the board was impressed with the level of private donations secured, and the public-private partnership between the task force and local government.
The task force plans to build the outdoor pool south and west of the indoor pool at the Roosevelt Community Recreation Center, which would allow the two pools to share facilities such as locker rooms. The task force hopes to have the pool open next summer. The indoor gym, planned for the area west of the rec center, will likely be finished after the pool.
Earlier this year, the task force and park board decided to scale back the pool project so it would only cost $3.8 million, as well as to reduce the gym project’s price from $6.2 million to $4.7 million.