Jefferson Matters: Steering Committee to Update Community

A public meeting will be held Thursday, July 28th in Jefferson’s historic Sierra Theater to highlight the key findings of the Main Street Steering Committee that was formed last fall.  On September 28th, a sizable crowd attended an informational meeting to learn what it takes to become a Main Street community.  Such a designation would qualify the community of Jefferson, after a lengthy application process, to receive direct services, training and technical assistance from the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Forty-five Iowa communities have already earned that honor.

Over the past nine months, this Steering Committee has explored the benefits and challenges of becoming a Main Street community. They gathered information by visiting current programs at Greenfield, Osceola, and Story City.  Each of these communities used the structure of the Main Street program
to determine the priorities and projects needed for the revitalization of their
own town.  Representatives from the committee were further inspired through their attendance at the 2011 National Main Streets Conference which convened in Des Moines in May.   It was here that the phrase “This Place Matters” grabbed their attention and imagination.  It has since gained a groundswell of support as residents of Jefferson and Greene County share what local places
“matter” to them.

Through their thorough discovery process, committee members learned that Main Street’s proven method is rooted in historic preservation that goes well beyond simply saving buildings. Volunteerism, along with local private and public partnerships, has helped to revitalize the commercial and cultural centers of each of these towns.

At the July 28 meeting, committee chair Tom Polking and committee members will share their findings and showcase one town’s successful Main Street experience. A highlight of the evening will be a surprise appearance from an elderly statesman with close ties to the Jefferson community. Residents from throughout the county are invited to attend this public meeting at the Sierra Theatre at 204 East State Street in Jefferson on Thursday, July 28 at 6 p.m. For more information, please call the Greene County Chamber and Development office at 515-386-2155.