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Clear Lake gets over $4 million from state of Iowa for Surf District project

CLEAR LAKE - Big changes are coming to the area in Clear Lake surrounding the historic Surf Ballroom, and the state of Iowa is sending millions to make sure it gets done.

CLEAR LAKE – Big changes are coming to the area in Clear Lake surrounding the historic Surf Ballroom, and the state of Iowa is sending millions to make sure it gets done.

The City of Clear Lake has been awarded $4,370,000 toward their Clear Lake Surf District project, according to Governor Kim Reynolds’ office. This grant will assist in the expansion and relocation of Clear Lake’s Music Enrichment Center to allow for improved performances and educational experiences; gateway and streetscape enhancements around and on Buddy Holly Place; and waterfront connections from the Surf Ballroom to the lakeshore. This award represents 40% of $35.2 million in public and private investment in the Clear Lake Surf District.

“We look forward to seeing all the exciting changes that will happen around the Surf Ballroom!” the City of Clear Lake said in response to this announcement.

IEDA began accepting applications on May 9 and will continue to review applications as they arrive through December 31 or until funding runs out.  Applications are scored based on eligibility, completeness, and the project’s ability to meet the program goal of creating transformational tourism attractions. Cities, counties, nonprofits and other organizations can apply for Destination Iowa grants through four separate funds: Economically Significant Development, Outdoor Recreation, Tourism Attraction, and Creative Placemaking.  

President Joe Biden
Funded projects must be completed by June 30, 2026. For more information on the Destination Iowa program, visit iowaeda.com/destination-iowa/. Funding for this program is being made available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act – passed by Democrats in the US Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden – and opposed by Kim Reynolds and Republican Iowa Congress members.

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