The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

May 15, 2014

Fairfield working to beautify downtown square

FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield downtown square has been the focus of restoration efforts for a number of years, and most of the buildings there could get some much needed facelifts in the near future.

Thanks to a recently awarded Community Development Block Grant and funding promised by the City of Fairfield and property owners, the facades on many of the buildings in the downtown square will be the focus of their next restoration project.

“Our application [for the grant] contained 17 properties on the downtown square on the four interior blocks that face Central Park,” Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy said.

He said they will be working on a variety of things for the chosen buildings, such as brick tuck-pointing, painting and new windows and awnings.

The work that will be done will hopefully make the downtown square more inviting and beautiful, which is something that the city has been focusing on for a long time.

“We have done a lot of work in our downtown in the last nine years, and this program is something we’ve been interested in for a long time,” Malloy said. “Fairfield has a great downtown square, but a lot of the buildings haven’t really been updated for some time.

Malloy said with an updated downtown square, they will be able to further exploit that area as a place where festivals and events can be held. Plus, it will hopefully really enhance the shopping experience in that part of the city.

Fairfield is being awarded $500,000 from the CDBG program, and there has also been a $500,000 match from the downtown property owners and $100,000 promised by the city, bringing the total cost of the project to around $1.1 million.

As for what will happen in the future once the façade revitalization project is complete, Malloy said they will focus on further efforts when the time comes.

“We’ll see how far this program takes us, and if there is more we can do in the future then we will,” he said.

— To see reporter Josh Vardaman's Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh

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