Mt. Pleasant receives trio of Main Street awards
DES MOINES — Mt. Pleasant received three awards during last week’s 27th annual Main Street Iowa Awards Celebration at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center at Vets Auditorium in Des Moines.
The awards included: Best Fund-raiser for the Penn Dinner; Best Interior Design for the renovation of Main Street Cinemas and Pat White was honored as Volunteer of the Year.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, presented the honors.
Nominations were submitted for 105 projects across the state with 26 receiving awards and six named honorable mention. Some 47 individuals or couples gained Volunteer of the Year awards. The volunteer winners were nominated by their communities for outstanding dedication and volunteer service benefitting the local Main Street Program.
Attending the event from Mt. Pleasant were Mayor Steve and Karen Brimhall; Rich and Elizabeth Garrels; Kent and Pat White; Scott, Amy, Allie and Jake Lowe; Antoinette Meyer; and Dave and Lisa Oetken.
“I am proud to have been part of the effort to bring the Main Street program to Iowa in 1985 as an economic development tool,” stated Branstad. “It is gratifying to see the successes Iowa communities have had because of our Main Street program. As a result of the hard work of countless local leaders, Iowa’s Main Street districts in communities large and small are flourishing.”
In its 27-year history, Main Street Iowa has tracked over $1.2 billion in private investment in the purchase, construction and rehabilitation of property in participating commercial districts, significantly increasing the state’s job and business base. In addition, over two million hours of volunteer time has been logged collectively by local main street organizations.
“Main Street is an economic development model which epitomizes the strength of public-private partnerships,” added Durham. “Taxpayers are certainly getting their money’s worth. Since 1986, for every dollar the state of Iowa has invested in operating the state Main Street program, the private sector in those communities has invested $71.93 into building improvements and acquisitions. In 2012 estimated sales tax receipts from net new businesses in Main Street communities was approximately 50 times the budget of the state Main Street program.”
As a highlight of the evening, two special awards were presented. The “Spirit of Main Street” Award recognizes the person, organization, community or project that best demonstrates the true meaning and spirit of “Main Street at work.” This year’s “Spirit of Main Street” Award winner is Dan Tindall. Main Street Iowa honored the community of Belle Plaine for their Downtown Revitalization Streetscape & Façade Master Plan as the “Signature Project of the Year.” This award honors a project that rises above the traditional award categories in impact, emotion and significance.
In 1985, the Iowa Legislature adopted the National Main Street Center’s Four Point Approach® to district revitalization by establishing Main Street Iowa within the agency that is now the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Since its inception, the state program and its communities have been considered examples of excellence in the national effort to revitalize historic commercial districts across the country.