Central Business District promotes busy ‘18 schedule to council

Local residents can expect to see a lot of activity in the Central Business District this year.

From installation of the popular hanging baskets on Main Street to the annual Holiday Stroll to rehabilitation of historic downtown buildings.

Those details, and many more were reported by CBD Executive Director Jenny Etter before the council Monday night on the not-for-profit organization’s activities.

“We will be having our ‘Treasures” tour this year,’ she said. “And for any of you who have not gone on this … It is something not to miss. It will be Oct, 13, and the reception will be in Barb Hagstrand’s newly remodeled Kibbey Building (100 block of East Main Street) Additionally, participants will get to see six or seven buildings not seen before. More information will be forthcoming.”

Mayor Joel Greer said the “Treasures” tour is “fascinating. Anyone who has not gone on it, I promise you, it will be an eye-opener.”

The tour consists of several second-floor apartments and lofts, said Etter.

In recent years, there has been a spurt of apartments and lofts built or under construction on the second floor of Main Street businesses.

Etter said the hanging flower baskets will be installed June 4, and her organization is looking for volunteers to help water the baskets.

“It is necessary to water the baskets every day they are up, which is many weeks,” she said.

Children and adults alike look forward to the annual Holiday Stroll, set for Nov. 17.

And Etter said she and team are working to get the popular ice rink back.

“it was a big hit last year,” she said. “We had more than 400 people who went ice-skating. It was a good time. We had no idea when we rented it, if it would be popular or not. Bethany, you loved that.”

Etter was referencing Councilor-At-Large Bethany Wirin.

“There is no ice,” Etter said. “it is like a plastic cutting board. The rink staff put silicone spray on it … which makes it real slick.”

Wirin said she saw similar rinks in use during the recent winter Olympics in South Korea.

“They had ice-skaters doing their routines on the artificial rinks,” said Wirin.

In other action, councilors approved purchase new skate park equipment, including a “pump track.”

Total cost is $76,500.

Parks and Recreation Director Anne Selness reported a recent survey of 400 youth demonstrated strong interest for Parks and Recreation to add more challenging skate park equipment in addition to what is present currently. Selness said a combination of funding sources will be used.

“We were fortunate to have been awarded the Marshalltown Community Foundation’s first $20,000 major impact grant for this project,” she said. “And, we will apply $55,000 from the recently passed (March 5 by city council) Capital Improvement Project. The Marshalltown Skate Park Committee will conduct a fund-raiser to raise the remaining $1,500. The bricklayer’s association will be donating a graffiti wall as part of a (bricklayer) student project.”

Selness said the new equipment will attract even more youth to the Skate Park as well as draw interest to the South Sixth Street Softball complex.

The next regular city council meeting is 5:30 p.m., March 26, in chambers. For complete agenda packets and to subscribe to agenda notices and department news, visit Marshalltown-ia.gov.


Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com