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VINTON - Hours of discussions and meetings paid off for the City of Vinton and its plans for the future of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School (IBSSS) grounds.

During Thursday evening's city council meeting Chris Ward, Vinton city administrator, shared that the city was the recipient of two awards from the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The total award was $2 million dollars. The city is the recipient of a Vacant State Demolition Grant in the amount of $1 million, along with a $1 million in Vacant State Rehabilitation Loan.

Ward explained that the rehabilitation loan comes in two parts. "Those funds are divided as $500,000 as 0% loan and $500,000 forgivable loan," he explained.

In a letter to the City, Deborah Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, explained that the forgivable loan will be five years after the project has been completed, "contingent upon completion of all contractual requirements. Loan monies can be utilized for rehabilitation of buildings on the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School campus, provided that ownership of the site is transferred from the state to the community."

"There was a lot of hard work by many people that made this possible," Bud Maynard, Vinton mayor, said during the meeting. "This is a good thing for the community and I believe that this is jump start some other things in the community.

"I am definitely excited about this for the community," he added. "People like Pat Baird, Dennis Lasaur and Melissa Schwan spent several hours working to make this happen."