The Keokuk City Council is taking steps to be able to apply for a $500,000 state grant that could be used to improve the look of the city’s downtown district.
The panel has designated the 400, 500, & 600 blocks of Main Street as blighted areas.
Tracey Lamm with the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission says this does not mean they are in poor condition. Instead, they could become blighted if left unattended.
Lamm says if the money comes through, participating property owners would be able to access it to improve the facades of their buildings.
"Hopefully if we can get this grant this year," says Lamm, "we could turn around in years to come and just keep working our way up Main Street."
Lamm says property owners in the 400, 500 & 600 blocks of Main Street would only have to cover 30% of the cost of the project. The grant would cover the remaining 70%.
She says the grant application is due in late January, with an award announcement possible this spring.
If successful, the facade improvements would likely get underway in the spring of 2015.
The facades in downtown Fort Madison are currently being improved thanks to a similar grant.