The Sutliff Bridge Authority (SBA) has opened two new funds at the Community Foundation of Johnson County. SBA created an endowment fund and a charitable giving fund to support the historic bridge and recreation activities in the rural Johnson County area.
SBA will use the funds to maintain the historic bridge, which is on the National Historic Registry, and will work with the Johnson County Conservation Board to enhance recreation and beautify the surrounding area. The Conservation Board is responsible for Cedar River Access park area, boat ramp and public hunting located near the Sutliff Bridge.
Sarah Brannaman, SBA secretary, said creating an endowment fund will provide for the maintenance of the bridge in perpetuity. "The endowment fund continues the SBA tradition of bridge maintenance. The Sutliff Bridge Authority was 25 years into to its 50-year lease with Johnson County when the 2008 flood hit.
"Our relationship with the Community Foundation will provide tax benefits to supporters of the Sutliff Bridge." Brannaman said SBA holds a variety of fund-raising activities throughout the year to benefit and maintain the historic bridge. A fund-raiser will be held Saturday, February 26, at the Solon American Legion. Between Monsters will play. Music starts at 8 p.m. Organizers request a $5 donation at the door.
Terrence Neuzil, of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, said, "People want to know what will happen with the Sutliff Bridge beyond FEMA and the state of Iowa's support that pays 100 percent of the cost to repair the bridge. The commitment by Sutliff Bridge Authority and future investments through the Community Foundation of Johnson County will serve as a catalyst for future upgrades and a vision of the entire area."
Mike Stoffregen, executive director of the Community Foundation of Johnson County, said the Sutliff Bridge Authority joins a number of nonprofit organizations located in Johnson County that are working to raise funds that will benefit their organizations in the future. "The Community Foundation offers two types of funds for philanthropic purposes. A charitable giving fund allows organizations to aid their purpose immediately, and an endowment fund in which the principal is maintained intact and invested to create an ongoing source of income from the interest earned."
Contributors to the SBA endowment fund may also qualify for an Endow Iowa 25 percent tax credit in addition to a federal tax deduction allowed for charitable giving.
SBA plans to continue to maintain the bridge's historic status. The nonprofit organization is working with VJ Engineering and the State Historical Preservation Office to finalize design plans that will leave the Sutliff Bridge on the National Historic Register. The bridge design should be completed in May, followed by bids in August 2011. Construction work is anticipated to be completed in 2012.