WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Frank Sinatra came. Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington did, too. Unfortunately, decades later so did COVID-19, which temporarily closed live music venues across the nation. But now, $1 million is headed to the Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines in the form of federal pandemic relief aid.
On Friday, Governor Kim Reynolds announced in a news release that the Val Air Ballroom’s major renovation is one of three projects receiving portions of $12.9 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
The expected costs of Val Air Ballroom’s updates have swelled to $12 million, according to its new owner.
Democrats in Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021. Iowa has been awarded $10.41 billion in federal aid under various Biden administration recovery packages.
U.S. Representative Cindy Axne, a 3rd District Democrat, was the only member of Iowa’s delegation to vote for the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act. All Iowa Republican members of Congress opposed it.
The governor committed $100 million of federal aid to the statewide effort known as Destination Iowa.