Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

April 16, 2014

Informational meetings

Organizing for Main Street is pressing on after their Jan. 16 presentation to Main Street Iowa officials who denied their application to be a part of the Main Street Iowa program.

Last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, April 8-10, for one hour each day Organizing for Main Street members met with Centerville Square business owners and managers to explain what Organizing for Main Street stands for.

The three meetings were held at Craver & Grothe Law Firm on West State Street and approximately 40 individuals attended. Organizing for Main Street members answered their questions, addressed their concerns and distributed a survey put together by Organizing for Main Street’s Business Development Committee.

Organizing for Main Street Organization Committee chair Becky Maxwell said the meetings were informational and business owners offered good feedback to what they were hearing. Many took the time to fill out the survey and return it during the meetings.

Maxwell said the goal is to educate people about the Main Street program and its mission to target the Centerville’s historic Square for revitalization. Centerville’s historic Square encompasses the Square and one block adjoining the Square.

“When it comes right down to it the Square is the heart and soul of the community,” Maxwell said, adding the Square collectively could possibly be the city’s largest employer.

With a revitalized historic Square district other areas of Centerville like the Levee and mall could also benefit through increased tourism in the area, Maxwell said.

Main Street is the concept of revitalization of historic commercial districts through a four point approach, a comprehensive, integrated strategy that provides a proven structure for successful achievements in economic growth coupled with historic preservation.

Organizing for Main Street has four committees — one for each of the Main Street’s four point approach of organization, design, promotion and business improvement. It is governed by a six member board of directors with Nancy Bennett serving as president.

The four committees are the Organization Committee chaired by Becky Maxwell; Promotion Committee chaired by Joyce Bieber; Design Committee chaired by Mike Thomas; and Business Improvement Committee chaired by Tod Faris.

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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?"

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