Main Street Iowa honors achievements

Main Street Iowa hosted the 33rd annual Main Street Iowa Awards celebration on Friday, March 8, 2019 at Scottish Rite Consistory in Des Moines. Jefferson had over 30 people in attendance.  The program honored the efforts of those who work day-in and day-out to revitalize Iowa’s downtowns – the heart and soul of communities across the state. The awards honor outstanding accomplishments, activities and people making a difference in the state’s 53 Main Street districts.

Jefferson received the following state awards and special recognitions at the Main Street Iowa Awards on March 8:

  • $5 Benchmark for dollars spent in the Main Street District since becoming a Main Street community in 2012.
  • Jefferson was also commended for hosting the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit of HomeTown Teams in 2018.
  • Debra McGinn was recognized as Jefferson’s 2018 Leadership Award recipient.
  • Jefferson Matters: Main Street submitted seven nominations for various award categories but didn’t receive any of the awards.

This year, 19 projects were selected to be recognized from the 129 competitive nominations submitted. The honors were presented by Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Director Debi Durham and James Engle, director of IEDA’s Downtown Resource Center.

“Main Street Iowa has stood the test of time since its introduction in 1985,” said Durham. “We continue to see significant growth in the amount of business, jobs and investment in communities of all sizes due to the program, and as a result, these districts serve as inspiring examples of what’s possible for Iowa’s downtowns.”

During the event, seven communities were recognized for reaching milestones in the amount of private investment in their commercial districts. Newton was recognized for reaching the $1 million-dollar benchmark and Colfax was honored for $3 million in local investment. Centerville and Jefferson attained the $5 million-dollar benchmark. Story City was recognized for achieving $10 million in local investment since being designated a local Main Street program and Des Moines 6th Avenue Corridor and Marion both reached the $20 million-dollar benchmark.

As part of the event, a special partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and Main Street Iowa was highlighted. Carol Harsh, Director of “Museum on Main Street” for the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service recognized Ames, Conrad, Guthrie Center, Jefferson, Mount Vernon and Ottumwa for hosting Smithsonian’s exhibit “Hometown Teams: How Sports Changed America” in their community.

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