Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

February 8, 2014

Organizing for Main Street continues to look ahead


The Daily Iowegian

---- — 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.

Organizing for Main Street is an effort of Grow Centerville, Inc., an Iowa 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. Board members include Nancy Bennett, Bill Burch, Carl Cisler, Jay Dillard, Jon Schmidt, C. J. Hash and Patti Lind.

“All OMS board members continue to meet and work diligently toward Centerville’s inclusion as an Iowa Main Street Community,” Lind said. “Positive, interested community members, business and building owners are encouraged to contact any of the OMS board members for discussion about the decision made by Main Street Iowa and the choice to move forward.”

The mission of the Main Street Iowa Program is to improve the social and economic well-being of Iowa’s communities by assisting selected communities to capitalize on the unique identity, assets and character of their historic commercial district. Currently, 64 cities in Iowa participate in the program. For more information, visit www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/MainStreetIowa.