Guttenberg is re-designated an Iowa Great Place

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Guttenberg was recently re-designated as an Iowa Great Place by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The community originally earned the designation in 2006. The honor carries with it the opportunity to apply for state funding for projects tied to the community's vision plan. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Shelia Tomkins

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs recently re-designated Guttenberg as an Iowa Great Place.

The successful Guttenberg application was submitted by a committee consisting of Mandy Ludovissy of the Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Bill Frommelt, former Mayor Russ Loven, City Manager Denise Schneider, Assistant City Manager Jamie Blume, Dave Schlueter, Cindy Olsen, and Sadie Hefel.

"I am very happy to see that the work and dedication of the leaders and volunteers in Guttenberg over the last few years has been recognized by others as creating and sustaining projects that benefit all of our residents as well as tourists," said Mayor Frommelt.  "A number of projects are in the planning stage that will require funding and, thanks to this team, we can seek additional grants to help with the funding needs to continue the momentum to make our city better.  I encourage our citizens to get involved."

Chris Kramer, acting director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, explained, "The Iowa Great Places program celebrates communities  with a bold vision to  develop their communities  through  innovation, placemaking and integration of arts, history and culture to enrich their residents' overall quality of life. 

The announcement noted that "Guttenberg has experienced an awakening since its original designation as an Iowa Great Place in 2006." 

"The recognition of the community as a valuable asset to the state ignited a new sense of pride. Its location along the rivers and bluffs of eastern Iowa, its rich German heritage, its numerous historic buildings and its vibrant, diverse local economy present a unique set of opportunities," stated the announcement. "Residents have joined together for the greater good of the community – to take action as a team, seizing challenges with renewed ambition. Guttenberg is using this energy to implement positive changes and improvements in quality-of-life features throughout their community."

As an Iowa Great Place, Guttenberg can apply for funding this fall for projects that are tied to its community's vision plan. Funding comes from an annual appropriation from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund to the Iowa Great Places program by the Iowa Legislature. 

Currently, Iowa has 45 Great Places with 13 projects in progress. The average Iowa Great Places grant award from 2014 to 2018 was $204,000.

About Iowa Great Places

The Iowa Great Places program recognizes and partners with Iowans who cultivate the unique and authentic qualities of their local places – neighborhoods, districts or regions – and make them great places to live and work. Iowa Great Places receive access to professional training, technical assistance, a network of vibrant communities and passionate leaders, and other state and local resources.

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