Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

February 8, 2014

Organizing for Main Street continues to look ahead

Upon submitting a written application on Dec. 6, 2013 and making a formal in-person presentation on Jan. 16, Organizing for Main Street has learned that their application for selection as an Iowa Main Street Community has been denied, according to an email sent Friday, Feb. 7 by OMS board member Patti Lind.

Main Street Program Manager, Michael Wagler, during a telephone call with Lind, said three of the five applicants were selected to be an Iowa Main Street Community. Centerville was one of the two not selected.

Wagler cited three issues regarding Centerville’s application and presentation. 1) Centerville previously participated as a Main Street Community in 1987 and chose not to continue with the program. Application reviewers voiced concern over whether or not there was any previous benefit to Centerville as a participant and whether there would be in 2014; 2) the city of Centerville has made few code updates and policy upgrades since 1960 including some that would have logically been advocated for by the previous Main Street Centerville group; 3) among the five communities vying for the prestigious selection as an Iowa Main Street Community, Centerville ranked last in the number of individuals financially supporting the effort.

Lind said Centerville’s application had 45 local, public and private donors as opposed to the next lowest application which had 97 local, public and private donors.

Wagler felt Centerville was in a good place to reposition itself for an application and presentation in 2015, Lind said.

When asked about the three areas of concern, the Board of Directors of Organizing for Main Street said Centerville was previously a Main Street Iowa participant, “but at this time, a new era of leadership is emerging in Centerville and Organizing for Main Street is a priority for the community.”

Regarding the Main Street Iowa Review Board’s concern about the low number of donors, all OMS board members noted that the campaign to include donors at all levels is currently underway and that the goal for 2015 is to have two hundred or more donors.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
     View Results
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