Grants available to assist southend residents with implementing plans

The City of Muscatine is extending a helping hand to those who would like to promote neighborhood activities or develop other projects that would build on community pride and develop connections in the south end of Muscatine.

The Grandview Neighborhood Grant Program was established earlier this year by the City of Muscatine to assist with neighborhood revitalization in the Grandview Corridor. The program is funded with $50,000 in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds.

The Grandview Neighborhood Grant Program would encompass neighborhoods from Hershey Avenue to the Mississippi River and from Carver Corner to the U.S. Hwy 61 Bypass.

A total of $10,000 will be earmarked for Tier I Mini Grants for projects such as neighborhood cleanups, community gardens, community spaces (e.g., benches, gardens, etc.), neighborhood events (e.g., picnics, outdoor movie nights, ice cream socials, neighborhood tool library or food pantry, or other similar projects that would instill sense of community. Individuals or groups will be able to apply for up to $1,000 to help offset the costs for these projects.

Applications for the Tier I Mini Grants will be accepted through October 31 with one of the requirements being that the proposed project be completed within 90 days of the grant award. Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.

More details on the application process can be found at Neighborhood Grants.

A total of $40,000 will be awarded in Tier II property improvement grants. Applicants may apply for up to $10,000 but there is a 50 percent match requirement for the grant. Proposed improvement projects must include at least four properties, must be on the properties exterior, and be visible from the street (e.g., facades, roofs, landscaping, windows, front entry doors, sidewalks, steps, retaining walls, etc.).

Applications for the Tier II Property Improvement Grants will be accepted February 1 to April 30, 2023. Grants will be awarded based on a defined scoring criteria.  More details on the application process can be found at Neighborhood Grants.

The Grandview Corridor Revitalization Project was launched in March 2021 with the goal of improving neighborhoods and enhancing Muscatine’s southern gateway. The Project includes five pillars: Grandview Avenue Reconstruction Project, Economic Development, Business Support, Recreational Amenities, and Residential Support.

As part of the Residential Support Pillar, the City of Muscatine conducted neighborhood outreach meetings utilizing the Muscatine Heart and Soul engagement model. This model focuses on identifying what residents appreciate about living in Muscatine, what they like about living in their neighborhood, and what opportunities exist to strengthen those connections.

A key theme that emerged in these community discussions was that residents would like to feel more connected to their neighbors and to feel more engaged with their community. In addition, the 2022 Muscatine Community Survey Results support neighborhood initiatives as a priority.

While 72 percent of survey respondents stated they would like to feel more connected and engaged with their community, only 33 percent responded that the quality of those connections were excellent or good. The gap between importance and quality suggests that an initiative supporting neighborhood connections will be a good investment of ARPA funds.