Local News

May 30, 2013

Main Street Iowa recognizes outstanding achievements

DES MOINES — Oskaloosa received the following award, Volunteer of the Year, at the 27th annual Main Street Iowa Awards celebration, which was held on Friday, May 17, at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center at Veteran’s Auditorium in downtown Des Moines.

Jon Sullivan, Bob and Sue Lynn, Randy Irwin, Karen Hafner and Vicki Jones represented Main Street Oskaloosa at the event, which was attended by approximately 400 individuals representing communities across the state.

Competitive nominations were submitted for 105 projects; 26 were selected for awards and six received honorable mention.

Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, presented the honors. Main Street Volunteer of the Year awards were presented to 47 individuals or couples who were selected by their community for outstanding dedication and volunteer service benefiting the local Main Street program.

“I am proud to have been part of the effort to bring the Main Street program to Iowa in 1985 as an economic development tool,” stated Governor Branstad. “It is gratifying to see the successes Iowa communities have had because of our Main Street program. As a result of the hard work of countless local leaders, Iowa’s Main Street districts in communities large and small are flourishing.”

In its 27-year history, Main Street Iowa has tracked over $1.2 billion in private investment in the purchase, construction and rehabilitation of property in participating commercial districts, significantly increasing the state’s job and business base. In addition, over two million hours of volunteer time has been logged collectively by local main street organizations.

“Main Street is an economic development model which epitomizes the strength of public-private partnerships,” added Director Durham. “Taxpayers are certainly getting their money’s worth. Since 1986, for every dollar the state of Iowa has invested in operating the state Main Street program, the private sector in those communities has invested $71.93 into building improvements and acquisitions. In 2012 estimated sales tax receipts from net new businesses in Main Street communities was approximately 50 times the budget of the state Main Street program.”

During the event, eight communities were recognized for reaching significant benchmarks based on private dollar investments made in the purchase and revitalization of properties within their respective commercial districts. Belle Plaine was recognized for reaching the $2 million benchmark in the last year, with Dunlap honored for $3 million in local investment. Greenfield and New Hampton were awarded certificates for $5 million in local investment; and Le Mars was recognized for achieving the $10 million benchmark. Cedar Rapids’ Czech Village/New Bohemia, Davenport’s Hilltop Campus Village and Mason City all attained $20 million in local investment since the program’s inception in 1986. The new Main Street organization in Marion was recognized and welcomed into the program; and New Hampton received recognition for their 20 years of participation as a designated Main Street community.

As a highlight of the evening, two special awards were presented. The “Spirit of Main Street” Award recognizes the person, organization, community or project that best demonstrates the true meaning and spirit of “Main Street at work.” Living this spirit is the difference between interest and commitment, between mediocrity and excellence. This year’s “Spirit of Main Street” Award winner is Dan Tindall. Main Street Iowa honored the community of Belle Plaine for their Downtown Revitalization Streetscape & Façade Master Plan as the “Signature Project of the Year.” This award honors a project that rises above the traditional award categories in impact, emotion and significance.

In 1985, the Iowa Legislature adopted the National Main Street Center's Four Point Approach® to district revitalization by establishing Main Street Iowa within the agency that is now the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Since its inception, the state program and its communities have been considered examples of excellence in the national effort to revitalize historic commercial districts across the country.

For more information about how all Iowa communities can access commercial revitalization assistance through the Iowa Downtown Resource Center, visit http://www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/CommunityDevelopment/IDRC, e-mail mainstreet@iowa.gov or call 515.725.3058.


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