The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

January 26, 2013

Group hopes to create ‘wow factor’ downtown

Entire block could receive new storefronts if city awarded grant

OTTUMWA — Two years ago, the 300 block of East Main Street was designated as a slum and blight area.

But Ottumwa city planner Nick Klimek hopes that if the city is awarded a $500,000 grant, a downtown facade initiative could have a positive, reverse effect on downtown Ottumwa.

The Ottumwa City Council approved the CDBG application for the Downtown Master Facade Improvement Program at its meeting this week.

“The level of participation is what makes this project truly transformative,” Klimek said.

Out of the 12 building owners in the block, 10 have agreed to participate.

And based on lineal footage, 90 percent of the blighted facades — not including those already being renovated or in the process of being renovated — would be addressed through the program.

“If we do include the buildings that have been renovated or are in the works, this would improve 93 percent of the facades in the 300 block,” Klimek said.

The approximately $1 million project will bring in funding from multiple sources: $125,000 from the city’s Capital Improvements Program, $250,000 from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation and $125,000 from property owners in the proposed block.

The grant application will request $500,000 from the state of Iowa to put toward the project. The city will be notified in May or June if it has been awarded the grant,  and construction would begin next year.

This project fits in with ORLF’s Reclaim Main Street initiative, said ORLF president and CEO Brad Little.

“Last week you discussed the notion of pride in Ottumwa,” Little said. “Just as the saying goes, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the same goes for pride.”

In October, an Iowa Economic Development Authority team helped the city immediately connect the downtown facade program with an opportunity to revive downtown Ottumwa.

The team also made clear its expectations, Little said, which include collaboration, multiple funding partners, investment by the property owners involved and a “wow factor.”

“This will allow us to keep the momentum going down Main Street,” he said. “It’s a great example of what pride in your community can look like.”

Klimek said the location of this project would be a strategic piece in the revitalization of downtown, adding on to successful renovations of the KMGO building and Appanoose Rapids Brewing Company, as well as the Market on Main in process right now and ORLF’s Capri V Theatre renovations down the block.

“Let’s keep our fingers crossed,” said Councilman Brian Morgan.

Councilman Mitch Niner said it’s a shame the last two property owners could not be reached to participate in the project.

“Yes, it is, but we’re happy with the level of participation we do have,” Klimek said. “We’ve gone through extensive lengths to reach them. Both property owners reside outside of Ottumwa and frankly are not easy to track down.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Jury begins deliberations DAVENPORT — The fate of a Wapello County man accused of killing his wife is in the hands of a jury in Scott County, which began deliberations Wednesday and will continue deliberating today.The jury began deliberations about 4 p.m. Wednesday in the ca

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Van Buren says bye-bye to Waste Management KEOSAUQUA — Waste Management has been charging the Van Buren Community School District an average of nearly $1,600 a month to remove waste and recycled materials from the Douds and Keosauqua centers. Now faced with a bidding process, Waste Management

    July 23, 2014

  • Pesticide use is not all bad OTTUMWA — When you pick up a grocery ad, it seems like every other page has a produce item stamped USDA Organic, meaning that those items were spared from chemicals including Glyphosate, the most common pesticide in the world. As the Organic Food Mov

    July 23, 2014

  • 0724 OTT Kitchen Science color photo -L -T Kitchen science sparks curiosity OTTUMWA — A lucky group of children spent Wednesday morning experimenting with kitchen science and creating geysers of foam at the Knights of Columbus hall. The Kitchen Science performance was presented by Waterloo's Grout Museum and is part of the O

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Prosecution: All evidence points to Techel as killer DAVENPORT — Just as all roads lead to Rome, so all evidence points to a Wapello County man accused of killing his wife, according to the prosecution. Assistant Attorney General Andrew Prosser, who is prosecuting the case for the third time, said defe

    July 23, 2014

  • Making something of themselves OTTUMWA — Community leaders this week heard how Ottumwa's Job Corps started from nothing yet became successful. But they also heard from students who said they were doing nothing until they found success through Job Corps. "After I dropped out of hig

    July 23, 2014

  • New charges filed in abuse case OTTUMWA — A single charge against a man for sexual abuse has been replaced by a new trial information, and authorities are throwing the book at him. Grant Troxel was initially charged in early June with sexual abuse. But the new list of charges indic

    July 23, 2014

  • 0724 OTT car investigation color photo -L Tip led to Tuesday arrest OTTUMWA — There was more to the incident Tuesday in which officers surrounded a car near U.S. Bank in downtown Ottumwa than just a routine traffic stop. Police Chief Tom McAndrew said Jason Tobek, 36, is in custody and faces charges of interference w

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eldon man gets five year prison term KEOSAUQUA — An Eldon man was sentenced to five years in prison in Van Buren District Court for his role in an October 2012 altercation in Selma, which escalated into shots being fired into the home or Randall Ritz, 11883 Bridge St., Selma. Donald E.

    July 23, 2014

  • Emergency council meeting Friday OTTUMWA — Ottumwa’s City Council will meet for a second time this week, this time to discuss an emergency problem at the city’s Water Pollution Control Facility. The special meeting will be conducted at 1 p.m. Friday in the council chambers. Earlier

    July 23, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook