116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
SIOUX CENTER — Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday announced $38 million in water-quality grants to three Iowa projects, including $11 million for water and sewer work at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville.
The governor and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg visited the Sioux Center water plant Friday to announce a $12 million award for a regional water system in northwest Iowa.
Sioux Center is one of the largest users of the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System which, when fully finished, will run 45 million gallons a day through 20 cities and rural water systems in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.
" (It) really does ensure that Iowans will be connected to clean drinking water," Reynolds said at Sioux Center's water treatment plant.
Reynolds also announced a grant of $11 million to Dyersville and $15 million to Des Moines for work at the Raccoon River dam at Fleur Drive. The money will be used to remove safety hazards and open a “river run experience” on the river. The water trails project is expected to create $100 million-plus in local revenue, the governor’s office said.
The money for the state grants come from the federal bipartisan infrastructure bill signed by President Biden last year. Only two of Iowa's six-member congressional delegation — Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne — voted for the $1 trillion plan.
In northwest Iowa, construction of the three-state water system began in 2004.
Sioux Center and neighboring Hull are expected to be connected to the system near the end of the year and into 2023. Sheldon will be added between 2023 and 2024, and Sibley will come on somewhere between 2024 and 2025.
The $12 million award will help pay for three pump stations at Lebanon, Larchwood and Hull; a ground storage reservoir near Hull; and more pumps at the Dove Avenue pump station, according to a document from Lewis & Clark Executive Director Troy Larson.
Larson said additional federal funding is needed to complete the Lewis & Clark system.
The expansion is needed, he said, because droughts in the state have made it clear to members that more water will be needed.
"Hope that expansion is complete in eight to 10 years," Larson said.
Murray Hulstein, chairman for the system, called the funding allotments the "latest example" of elected leaders in Iowa "putting words into action.
Following the speeches, Reynolds was asked why water infrastructure is a top priority for her administration.
"One of the first bills I signed was a water quality bill," Reynolds said. "It's just really important if we want to continue to see growth in northwest Iowa."
Reynolds also was asked about the three competing tax-cut plans — from her, the Iowa Senate and the Iowa House — now before the Legislature.
"The fact that we're all talking about tax cuts, I think it's really exciting,“ she said. ” … It's an indication that we're going to get something done.“