Main Street Iowa is a go
Thursday, August 03, 2017
Fort Dodge has been designated as a Main Street Iowa community, Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, announced Wednesday.
Main Street Iowa is a program led by the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Its goal is to improve the downtown area of the cities that are part of the program.
The announcement was made during the opening session of the Iowa Downtown Conference in downtown Sioux City.
The designation will help Fort Dodge revitalize its downtown, according to Steve Pederson, president of the local Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District.
“I personally am very excited about this collaboration with Main Street because it will allow us to really focus on retail in the downtown and the filling of our existing buildings and renewal of existing businesses on main street,” Pederson said. “This program has a very good track record of helping communities find what they are going to rally around for the next 15 to 20 years to put a fresh face on the downtown.”
SSMID, along with the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance and the city of Fort Dodge, worked on the application process together, according to Jill Nelson, community development director of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance.
SSMID will be responsible for the Main Street Iowa program in Fort Dodge.
“We have a SSMID board and they will become the Main Street board,” Nelson said. “In addition to overseeing SSMID funds, they will also oversee the Main Street budget, the program and its director.”
A Main Street director will be appointed by the end of the year to focus solely on the needs of downtown, Nelson said. The director’s office will be located at the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, Nelson said.
Funding from the city, SSMID and private donations will keep the program running.