IA Grant Will Save Over 200 Jobs

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration has awarded a $1.5 million grant to the Ottumwa Regional Airport in Iowa.

The funds will be used to update water infrastructure, provide infrastructure support to the new job training facility, encourage future private investment and create jobs.

“It’s a significant grant. It provides support for the infrastructure that services water to the new Job Corps and all the industries over by the airport,” said Ottumwa City Administrator Joe Helfenberger.

Plans include water main additions, sewer improvements and updates to Fifth Street, among others. Helfenberger said the improvements will also be helpful in fire services near the airport.

“It makes it possible for some businesses to do future expansions and to keep existing jobs because there was a need for additional water supply to the area,” Helfenberger said, adding that about 205 jobs would be saved and others would be created.

Ottumwa Water and Hydro is covering the local match for the grant, which totals $1,649. The total project is estimated to cost $3.1 million.

The funding is estimated to allow for $15 million in private investment to be leveraged.

The airport is a 1,440-acre complex and includes a General Aviation airport with two runways, rental hangars and full aviation services. The Industrial Park houses manufacturing, trucking and industrial businesses.