The Ottumwa Courier


December 20, 2012

Main Street Ottumwa updates on market

Board looking for director, applying for grants in 2013

OTTUMWA — Main Street Ottumwa will soon give the public insight into what they’ve been working on for the upcoming year.

Fred Zesiger, MSO board president, said a lot is going on behind the scenes right now.

“Shortly we’ll have a lot for people to actually see physically,” Zesiger said. “Keep your eyes open.”

Two upcoming events will give the public an opportunity to see what progress has been made with Market on Main.

A discussion at 3 p.m. Dec. 27 at Hotel Ottumwa will discuss the business plan and floor plan developed by the board.

The following will be “Soup and Scoop” at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 8 at the KMGO building, where board members Dianne Haas, Chef Gordon Rader and Marsha Laux will give a presentation on the market. Admission will be $5 for a soup supper from Morgan’s Corner.

Soup and Scoop will continue on the second Tuesday of each month, with presentations by locals “in the know” on what’s going on in downtown Ottumwa.

The board hired Des Moines company Stanley Consultants as architects for the project.

“Hopefully this spring we’ll be breaking ground,” Zesiger said.

Preliminary plans show a couple of options for the layout of the market.

“It’s a moving target,” Zesiger said of the market’s grand opening. “We would like to have it done, hopefully, by next fall, if not then in the spring [of 2014].”

Zesiger also hopes to have a new director in place by February or March.

“The board’s been pulling things together and wrapping up loose ends,” Zesiger said. “We’re getting ready to post the job and hope to have somebody on in early February or the beginning of March. I think the board has stepped up, and we’re moving ahead.”

MSO is also trying to put together a murder mystery dinner for Valentine’s Day weekend at Hotel Ottumwa. The group is also working on a couple of grants for downtown housing and downtown building improvements.

“Four [apartments] are going to open above Appanoose Rapids Brewing Company, two are going in above a building in the 200 block of East Main Street,” Zesiger said. “All should be done by the end of February, and they’re actually all spoken for.”

Another grant would improve the facades of a block of buildings downtown.

“It’s hopefully a tightly knit group of buildings we’ll have the facade work done on the front with a CDBG grant we’re working on, which is due Jan. 31,” Zesiger said. “We’re taking them back to what they’ve been. We’ll open the store fronts up. It’s going to be about a $1 million project.”

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