In Washington, FD group makes case for intermodal grant
Friday, November 30, 2018
A small group of Fort Dodge representatives spent Thursday in Washington, D.C., making the case for a $7.63 million federal grant to help pay for a new intermodal hub that would be key to redeveloping the Warden Plaza and building a new cultural and recreation center.
That hub, basically a parking ramp with additional features, would be located on First Avenue South, east of the now vacant Warden Plaza.
The hoped-for grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation would pay much of the cost of the $11.5 million center.
Mayor Matt Bemrich, who led the delegation to Washington, has described the Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development — BUILD — grant as a an initial “stack of capital” to fund projects that would transform the north side of First Avenue South between Ninth and 12th street.
“The project has many silos of capital,” Bemrich said during a phone interview Thursday evening. “This is the first one.”
“It really solidifies the project when someone like the federal government says our project has value,” he added. “It brings more merit to what we’re trying to do.”
Bemrich said U.S. Department of Transportation officials said Thursday that the city’s grant application “looked really good.”
But he added that the local delegation was told that there is $1.5 billion to be awarded, but $11.9 billion worth of grant applications have been received.
City leaders will learn on Dec. 18 if the grant will be awarded.
If the grant is awarded, construction of the intermodal hub could begin in 2020 and be done in the spring of 2021.