Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant Available

Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant Available

Main Street Challenge Grant is available now. Due back to Centerville office by 8.16.21 at 4 pm.

 Main Street Iowa and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) are proud to announce the availability of Main Street Iowa Challenge Grants. 

A state appropriation was made to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) for the Main Street Iowa Program to assist participating cities to improve the physical and economic health of their designated Main Street districts.  This state appropriation will allow Main Street Iowa to offer matching Challenge Grants to participating communities for vertical infrastructure projects. 

Funds will be awarded to eligible applicants for bricks and mortar projects within designated Main Street Iowa districts.

Each program may receive a single award from this funding round.  Only one application per program is allowed.  The local Main Street Iowa program MUST be the applicant on behalf of the local property owner(s) as the grant beneficiary. 

Main Street Iowa staff will review all applications for eligibility, project impact within the designated Main Street district, design appropriateness, innovation, and utilization of the Iowa Green Streets Criteria.  Successful applicants will be notified in writing of the grant awards. 

All awarded projects must agree to provide Main Street Iowa with appropriate budgetary information and expenditures.  Main Street Iowa also reserves the right to share this information, including before, during and after photographs of each project for educational and promotional purposes to further the mission of historic commercial district revitalization in the context of historic preservation. 

The PRIMARY goals of the MSI Challenge grant are:

a. Stimulate appropriate building rehab of significant commercial historic buildings in Main Street districts.

b. Stimulate appropriate infill development in downtown districts

c. Create a positive climate for additional investment – public and private

d. Support local revitalization efforts.

e. Demonstrate “Main Street at work” in the local community

f. Provide local Main Street programs with an exclusive financial incentive program

g. Create additional jobs and business growth 

These goals will be achieved through:

a. Quality historic property rehabilitation

b. Creating downtown housing – particularly upper floor housing

c. Creating unique business locations

d. Context-sensitive infill development

e. Strategic investment by IEDA into key local projects

f. Research and utilization of appropriate available financial resources/programs

g. Creating local job and business opportunities 


Main Street Iowa communities with current contracts who are meeting all contractual obligations including National Main Street Accreditation once within the past three years will be considered eligible for the Main Street Grant funds.  Eligible projects must be within the designated Main Street district.  Only the Main Street organization in participating communities may submit applications on behalf of local projects, properties, and businesses. Awards will be made to the applicant Main Street organization, hereafter referred to as the Grantee, for disbursements to locally designated grant beneficiaries.


Maximum awards for this grant round will be $100,000.  Minimum grants will be no less than $25,000. No program shall receive more than one award per application round. 


The grantee must show community support evidenced by the local contributing effort.  Grantee or the grant beneficiary(s) must invest at a minimum a dollar for dollar cash match and must supply requested financial information to show that the match requirement is being satisfied.

 Grantee and all Grant Beneficiaries agree, to the best of their ability, to complete designated projects within 24 months of award notification or show just cause for the delay.

 Main Street Iowa programs in good standing and in compliance with all contractual requirements from previously awarded funds if any, may apply on behalf of a property or project within the designated district.  Only one submission per program, per round, will be permitted.                                                                


Rehabilitation and/or restoration of significant commercial properties within the designated Main Street district.  This can include, but is not limited to:

– Façade improvements (Front, rear, and side)

 Upper floor interior rehabilitation

 Structural repairs/improvements

 Code compliance

 First-floor interior rehabilitation

 Energy efficiency/sustainability improvements

 The single specific phase of a large rehab.  The project must have a specific defined focus and clearly identifiable scope of work including start/end dates and milestones for completion.

Compatible New Construction including building additions with first-floor commercial and upper floor(s) Commercial or residential within the designated Main Street district.  Razing of an existing structure to allow for new construction will not be considered an eligible use of funds. 

Multiple properties committed to a mutually agreed-upon improvement or series of improvements located within the designated Main Street district.  All multiple properties applications must be connected by a common need or issue that defines the scope/type of proposed project.  For instance, a series of rear entrances visible from a parking lot; the removal of inappropriate slipcovers/siding materials and façade restoration for several buildings, multiple upper floor rehabilitations, etc. Multiple properties are not required to be contiguous.  However, close physical proximity does improve the project impact within the district.  Multiple property projects may include, but are not limited to, the following:

– Installation of an elevator and common hallway linking several buildings;

– A sprinkling of multiple properties with a central master control room. 

– Handicapped accessibility improvements serving multiple buildings/storefronts like a common ramp or lift.

-Energy efficiency/sustainability upgrades like green roofs for multiple buildings, geo-thermal well fields, etc.

– Improvements to the facades (front or rear) of a highly visible group or block of buildings;

-Upper floor rehabilitation for several properties.

Programs considering a Multiple Properties application are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to discuss your application with Main Street Iowa Staff before submission. 


No previous expenditures of any kind will be considered as a suitable cash match for a project. This statement applies to both new applicants and additional submissions for phased projects.

A dollar-for-dollar (1:1) CASH match is required for ALL projects.  In-kind contributions, while important, cannot be used to meet match requirements for any project. 

The match requirement may include necessary project “soft” costs for professional service i.e. architectural or engineering directly related to the project/property.  

EACH structure included as part of a MULTIPLE PROPERTIES application must meet the individual minimum project investment threshold ($15,000 grant/$30,000 minimum total investment.)  For example, this applies to multiple façade improvements, upper floor rehabs or energy efficiency/sustainability improvements.  It does not apply if the project is a large, single investment that impacts several properties like a common elevator or fire suppression system. 

NOTE:  Previous Grant Beneficiaries (projects/buildings) who are completing a large, phased project may apply for additional Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant funding so long as the scope of work authorized in the previous award is complete and all funds dispersed.

Please give me a call or send me an email with any questions you may have.

May 28th Bike Night

May 28th Bike Night

This FREE event is for motorcycle enthusiasts, young and old, as well as folks who want to enjoy the sights and sounds of live music, food, beer, and motorcycles. A family-friendly event, see what you have been missing downtown Centerville! FREE TO ATTEND! Held Annually on the 4th Fridays of May, June, July, and August. Live music for May 28, 2021, will be DALLAS CITY LIMITS! They perform everything from classic rock to modern/hard rock. Let’s get ready to ride to the historic Centerville, Iowa Square, for a great time!
The Band sponsored by Ottumwa Radio Group
Contact Mary for details Food Vendor- TBD
Event by Main Street Centerville
#centervillebikenight#thisisiowa#4thfridays#letsride See Less
Held Annually on the 4th Fridays of May, June, July, and August. Live music for May 28, 2021, will be DALLAS CITY LIMITS!
Band MembersMike Dursky (lead vocals/acoustic)
Brady Pace (lead guitar/vocals)
Jerry Richardson (bass/vocals)
Rich Durflinger (drums/vocals)They perform everything from classic rock to modern/hard rock. Let’s get ready to ride to the historic Centerville, Iowa Square, for a great time!
The Band sponsored by Ottumwa Radio Group

Open 4 Business Grant- Local Winner 2021

Open 4 Business Grant- Local Winner 2021

Congratulations to Dan Pilkington (Pictured), owner of our local Brown’s Shoe Fit Centerville, for your local award selection, Winner for Open 4 Business! Thank you so much to our sponsors: Iowa Trust and Savings Bank (pictured Dustin Harvey), Farmers Bank of Northern Missouri – Member FDIC (pictured Jeff Boomgarden), Us bank (pictured Brett Mihalovich and @Community1st Credit Union(Centerville, Ia) ( pictured Julie Drew) Open 4 Business contest! The contest is designed to help local Main Street programs provide financial and technical support for business retention, expansion, and recruitment efforts that improve Main Street districts. Sustainable businesses that will grow and thrive within your district are the desired outcome. Dan’s application is for new product lines and marketing. Congratulations on your local award, and good luck with the state competition! Thank you to Iowa Trust and Savings Bank, Farmer’s Bank of Centerville, C 1st Community Credit Union and US Bank for Sponsoring our local competition $1,000 cash award! Be sure to check them out for all your local financial needs!




Congratulations to Brown’s Shoe Fit Centerville!

$75,000 Challenge Grant for “Putting Back the Ritz”

Projects will leverage private investments to revitalize downtowns across the state
For more information, contact:
Jacque Matsen, 515.348.6245
November 7, 2019 (DES MOINES) — The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) today awarded Main Street Centerville a $75,000 grant for the “Putting Back the Ritz” Ritz Theater project.  State Representative Holly Brink, Senator Ken Rozenboom, ACCA (Appanoose County Coalition for the Arts) Board President Nancy Bennett, Main Street Treasurer/Secretary Judy Dorman and Main Street Centerville Business Development Committee Chair Dustin Harvey attended the event held at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.  Thirteen other Main Street Iowa communities also received grants that will benefit local improvement projects, including upper story renovations, critical building stabilization, and façade restoration and upgrades. A total of $1 million was awarded during the ceremony.
“Main Street Centerville’s (MSC) goal is to build value and appeal to the downtown by the rehabilitation of the historic core of the community. Restoration of the Ritz Theater is a large part of demonstrating the realities of downtown rehabilitation.  The Ritz has been empty or under-utilized for more than forty years leaving a significant hole in our historic downtown. Funding from this Challenge Grant will save this iconic building from falling in and ensure that it is passed on to future generations to come” Mary Wells, Executive Director Main Street Centerville         
The grants are administered through IEDA’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa programs. The funding will be distributed in the form of matching grants to the selected Main Street programs. The estimated total project cost of these 14 projects is over $3.2 million.
“The Main Street Iowa Challenge grants have been instrumental in revitalizing Iowa’s historic main streets,” said IEDA and Iowa Finance Authority Director Debi Durham. “Reinvesting in our traditional commercial districts is good business.  It’s good for our economy and good for our state. These projects will bring new businesses and new residents to our downtown districts.”
Since the first Challenge Grants were awarded in 2002, approximately $10.6 million in state and federal funds have leveraged more than $59 million in private investment. Over the life of the program, 179 projects in 54 Main Street Iowa commercial districts across the state have received funding.
“Each project must provide at least a dollar-for-dollar cash-match,” said Michael Wagler, state coordinator for the Main Street Iowa program. “In total, these projects will actually leverage significantly more than the state’s investment into bricks and mortar rehabilitation.  This investment will have a significant economic impact within each district.”