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Vision Iowa Board delays World Food Prize decision


The Vision Iowa Board decided today to defer a vote on whether to provide funding for the World Food Prize Foundation headquarters project until its next meeting in June. The board chose to delay its decision after determining it needed an exact dollar figure for how much the foundation has already expended on the project.

The need for the additional information was not anticipated on either side of the table, said Ken Quinn, World Food Prize Foundation president.

“When it comes to signing the contract, you have to have very precise figures about how much money we’ve already expended on the project,” Quinn said. “We’ve got to update that for the last 30 days, because it’s got to be down to the last penny. … It’s just a small, technical thing.”

Quinn said the foundation has spent a little more than $2 million on the project for architectural design work, preparation of construction documents and fabrication of certain exhibits. The Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates will serve as a museum of agricultural achievements as well as an educational facility that features interactive displays on hunger and global food security.

Created in 2000 and initially funded at $228.5 million, the Vision Iowa program is designed to assist communities with funding for the development of permanent cultural, recreational, entertainment and educational attractions available to the public.

The World Food Prize Foundation is seeking $4.2 million for the nearly $30 million project. It has already raised approximately $21.5 million of the amount needed to renovate the building.

The Vision Iowa Board is scheduled to meet next on June 10.

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