By ANDY GOODELL
The Oskaloosa Herald
Oskaloosa’s “old post office” could possibly become something new.
Going forward with a grant application for a project to turn the old post office building into housing was brought before the Oskaloosa Housing Trust Fund recently. Rob Taylor, Oskaloosa Housing Trust Fund chairman, said Jon Sullivan, Randy Irwin and Steve Tucker walked them through the proposal at the meeting.
In a recent Herald interview, Taylor said the Oskaloosa Housing Trust Fund approved a $58,000 forgivable loan with 0 percent interest over five years toward the project.
Taylor said this helps those viewing the application to see that there is local participation in helping with the project.
“The housing trust fund is proud to help with this,” Taylor said.
The next step in this process is to submit the grant application to the Iowa Economic Development Authority, said Taylor.
In a recent Herald interview, Sullivan said over the course of the last year Main Street Oskaloosa has been working on reinvestment in properties in the downtown area. He noted a survey conducted in February, March and the first part of April in 2012 showed that there are several property owners who have an interest in developing or improving housing in downtown Oskaloosa.
Getting the grant will be a bit of a competitive process.
“This is going to be a grant that a lot of people are applying for,” explained Sullivan.
Sullivan said he expects to know if they have earned the grant in early May.
Sullivan explained that the project would result in seven new apartments, two of which would be handicap-accessible. He also said there would be 16 parking spaces on the property. Should the project go forward, it is expected to begin construction in September of this year, with completion in April 2014.
The old post office first opened in 1902, said Sullivan.
“It’s just a beautiful, well-built building,” Sullivan said. “They built that one to last.”
Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.