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Grants to Iowa Cities and Counties for Preservation Projects and Pre-Development Activities


Geographic Focus

USA: Iowa

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Certified Local Government (CLG) Grant Program

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs - State of Iowa Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and National Park Service (NPS)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #145436

Grant Description

Grants to Iowa counties, cities, and land-use districts for historic preservation activities. Funding is intended for projects that preserve local heritage sites. Grants may be used for historic surveys and evaluations, preservation planning, public education projects, planning projects, and preparing a nomination for the national recognition of a historic site.

The Certified Local Government program seeks to:

  1. Develop and maintain local historic preservation programs that will influence local decisions critical to historic properties, and
  2. Ensure the broadest possible participation of local governments in the national historic preservation program while maintaining preservation standards established by the Secretary of the Interior.

Eligible activities include those that involve looking for and establishing the significance of buildings, structures, sites, objects or districts are eligible. In historic preservation language, these activities are described as identification, evaluation, and registration. Planning activities are eligible when the focus is on historic preservation.

For information about Eligible Projects and Categories, see:

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To qualify for a Certified Local Government grant, a city or county must meet two criteria:

1. Have a certified local historic preservation program: The city or county must have an established local historic preservation program by ordinance or resolution, applied for and received Certified Local Government status from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
2. Be current in Certified Local Government Annual Report submittals: The city or county must be current in their submission of Iowa Certified Local Government Annual Report forms. This means that the Certified Local Government city or county has submitted all Iowa annual report forms through the prior year and is in good standing.

The grant is awarded to the city or county government. Typically, the city clerk or county auditor serves as the fiscal agent for the grant. That person is responsible for issuing payment to the consultant and paying other bills associated with the project. That same person will receive the reimbursement check from the state (typically at the conclusion of the project) and deposit it in the local government’s account.

Certified Local Government grants cannot be used to cover the cost of preparing the grant applications, construction or rehabilitation projects, landscaping, building maintenance, acquisition of property, or the cost of moving properties. Certified Local Government grants cannot be used to cover the cost of doing archival research unrelated to historic properties or the cost of workshops, publications, flyers exhibits that do not directly relate to historic preservation. Certified Local Government grants cannot be used for museum projects that do not directly relate to historic preservation.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for final applications is September 6, 2022 at 11:59pm.

You can submit a draft application for review and comment. The deadline for draft applications is August 12, 2022 at 11:59pm and must be submitted through SlideRoom. You can expect to receive comments back in about a week.

Applicants will be notified in December. A CLG city or county may submit more than one application per grant round.

Certified Local Government grants have a 60:40 match ratio. This means that the Certified Local Government grant will cover 60% of the total project costs, and the Certified Local Government will provide 40% of the total project cost as match. For example, if the total cost for a project is $1,000, then the Certified Local Government requests a grant of $600 and provides a match of $400. The $400 may be all cash, all in-kind match or a combination of the two.

Grants are paid on a cost-reimbursement basis.

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

There is no cap for grant projects but please use common sense in making your requests. For example, a request for $25,000 would mean that one Certified Local Government would be receiving about a third of the Certified Local Government grant allocation. Unless the project dealt with a National Historic Landmark or was extremely compelling, it is unlikely that $25,000 or more would be awarded.

Term of Contract:

Work can begin when the Certified Local Government receives the Notice to Proceed and a Grant in Aid Agreement that has been signed by the State and the Chief Elected Official of the Certified Local Government. Costs incurred prior to this will not qualify as grant-related expenses and will not be reimbursed or counted as match.

Generally, preliminary work, such as sending Requests for Proposals and signing on consultants, will begin in February following the announcement in December. Grant projects that are not underway by June 1 are subject to cancellation. Projects must be completed by June 30 of the following year.

Contact Information:

Submit a draft application or final application:

Direct questions to

State Historical Society of Iowa
State Historical Building
600 East Locust Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0290

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