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Des Moines to Lead Nationally on Sustainable Planning

October 20, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa and Des Moines could soon be forging a new path of sustainability. The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization has been awarded $2.2 million to develop strategies for growing the city's economy in an environmentally sustainable way.

Associate transportation planner for the organization, Bethany Wilcoxon says planning for roads, homes and businesses hasn't been coordinated in the past.

"The housing, there are all sorts of different entities working on that, as well as economic development and some of those other components, and so this plan is basically to make sure everything is aligned so that it can be more sustainable."

She says the city was the only one in the state to receive the funds, which will actually be much more. That's because to get the grant, matching funds have to come from suburban communities.

"In addition to that $2.2 million grant we'll also be leveraging almost $1.1 million in local resources. The grant required a certain percentage match so it will like a two-for-one deal."

Wilcoxon notes the grant money will save money, eventually create jobs and a more attractive place to live and work.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA