OTTUMWA — News that Main Street Ottumwa has been recertified for another year may not come as a surprise, but it’s always a big relief to Executive Director Cindy Woodbury.
“It’s something that every Main Street organization in the country has to go through, a very vigorous review of certification,” she said.
In Ottumwa’s case, representatives of Main Street Iowa conducted the review on Tuesday. Woodbury announced the recertification the next morning.
As might be expected, certification includes a review of Main Street’s progress and achievements, along with whether the program has hit specific benchmark measurements. Future plans for each community are also involved in certification reviews.
Woodbury said the reviews are critical for local Main Street organizations. They allow access to funding like the challenge grants, which have benefitted Main Street Ottumwa several times. Woodbury said the grants supply funding for speakers and allow her organization to offer consultations and design mockups for sites within the Main Street district.
“It amounts to quite a dollar value when you look at it,” she said.
Woodbury pointed to progress on projects like the conversion of the former Plum Crazy building as evidence Main Street is moving forward. The project is a joint effort between Main Street Ottumwa and Ottumwa Progress Inc.
After months of being described simply as a “community market,” the site has a formal name and slogan: “Market on Main — Where Ideas Grow.”