The City of Belle Plaine, Iowa celebrated their sesquicentennial on July 2. Many people, including past residents, people from surrounding communities, and Statewide dignitaries came to celebrate the town. This was more than a celebration of 150 years as an incorporated town, this was also the ribbon cutting on their brand new Main Street.
Over the last two years Belle Plaine has been working hard to restore their beautiful storefronts. In all, 36 of their 49 storefronts were redone, representing 28 different owners. This Main Street community worked with both the Main Street designers and architect RDG, to complete a streetscape and façade master plan.
City administrator, Bill Daly, has been involved in local politics for thirty years and remarked that this project was so successful due to the overwhelming support from the mayor, city council and residents. The city was excited to have local construction company Garling Construction complete the work. Doug Mertens and Chris Kemp lead the project for Garling. The scheduling and phasing of work allowed Main Street businesses to stay open during the entire project.
Alexa McDowell, of AKAY Consulting was the Architectural Historian on the project. With aide from their local Council Of Government the city was able to harness five funding sources to complete this four million dollar project.
The city already reports an increase of traffic through the area. Business Owners, tourists and residents love the results.