Rural Business Development Grant awarded locally

A $99,000 Rural Business Development Grant from USDA Rural Development will assist with the new Sunflower Center in Decorah.

Winneshiek County Development and Tourism recently received a $99,000 Rural Business Development Grant from USDA Rural Development to help secure technical assistance with development of Construction Documents for the new Sunflower Child Development and Discovery Center.

WCDT Executive Director, Stephanie Fromm, noted that the award will help move the project one step closer to construction saying, “We can’t get this facility constructed and on the ground fast enough. We have hundreds of job openings in Decorah alone. Both small and large employers are looking for ways to attract workers to the community. Those workers will bring their families with them. Development of childcare options and children’s amenities like Sunflower’s proposed facility is critical. They will need childcare and housing and we are working on both.”

WCDT provides technical assistance to hundreds of businesses throughout the county each year. They have been providing technical assistance to Sunflower with this endeavor over the past two years. Fromm noted, “Sunflower has a basic plan for the new facility. The Construction Documents will help them dig down into the details and specifications so that when this project is let for bid the contractors will know what they are getting into.” Fromm also noted that Sunflower, with help from several community leaders, is currently in the middle of a capital campaign to raise the funding to construct the proposed $8.5 million dollar facility, which according to an expert from the University of Iowa will be the first of its kind in the nation.

To learn more about the child care and discovery center project, and to pledge your support, please visit: www.decorahdiscovery.org

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