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The original item was published from 4/20/2018 9:07:27 AM to 5/30/2018 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: April 19, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Marshalltown Receives Opportunity Zone Designation

The City of Marshalltown's application for an Opportunity Zone designation has been approved, which is great news to Mayor Joel Greer.  "We have so many great things going on in Marshalltown, and this designation goes to show what we are doing is working".  Census tract 9509, which encompasses a large area on the east side of Marshalltown including Highway 14/3rd Avenue from Main Street to South Street, received the Opportunity Zone designation from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds after the City submitted an application stating why this area is a great area for future redevelopment and investment and demonstrating a plan for redevelopment.

While only one of the three Census tracts submitted by the City was selected, Michelle Spohnheimer, Housing and Community Development Director, thinks the Census tract with the most opportunity was chosen as the Opportunity Zone.  "We have a number of commercial and industrial properties in this area, which also includes part of the Central Business District and an area of Highway 14 which is currently being studied.  This is a great match for future public and private investment opportunities."  The City was hopeful one of the Census tracts selected would include a portion of Highway 14 or 3rd Avenue on the north side of the City.  In January, the City kicked off a study of this corridor to identify strategies for redevelopment while enhancing safety and transportation along the corridor.  The study is expected to be complete in late May 2018, with a final public open house to be held on May 2nd, from 5:30-7:30pm at the Orpheum Black Box Theater.

The zones are comprised of U.S. Census tracts where the poverty rate is 20 percent or greater and/or family income is less than 80 percent of the area’s median income. The governor of each state is permitted to designate 25 percent of its “low income community census tracts” (LIC) as Opportunity Zones, subject to approval from the U.S. Treasury. Iowa has 247 eligible LICs, of which a maximum of 62 can be nominated. Once designated, the tracts will be in place for 10 years.  The list of 62 finalists was submitted by the committee to the governor’s office and will now be forwarded to the U.S. Treasury for review and final certification.  The City will learn more about exactly how this designation will impact the community once the U.S. Treasury has completed the rulemaking process and provided further program details.

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