13th Street revitalization effort gets financial boost

The Marshalltown Development Foundation has donated $40,000 to help fund the 13th Street revitalization.

Dean Elder, president of the Marshalltown Development Foundation, presented the check to Mayor Tommy Thompson at the council’s Monday night meeting.

“Our mission statement is to improve and enhance the attitude of our community,” Elder said, giving reason to the substantial donation. “We are happy to help. Those people who support us are very happy to help.”

Thompson thanked the foundation for the donation, saying it has done a good job collecting money to fund the effort to reinvigorate the aesthetic of the neighborhood.

The 13th Redevelopment Committee opted to use private funds to give the traditional neighborhood a facelift when the city announced it needed to replace a box culvert beneath the street last year. Efforts to beautify the area with benches, lamp posts, flower pots, fencing and a water feature have already gotten underway and will continue into the summer.

Randy Wetmore, city administrator, said the work has been a collaborative effort between several agencies, including Marshall Economic Development Impact Committee (MEDIC), the Martha Ellen Tye Foundation as well as the Marshalltown Development Foundation.

Private donations amounted to roughly $308,000, Wetmore said, which injected enough money into the project to complete the streetscape.

“Without those funds, none of that work would have happened,” he said.

In other action, the council approved a motion for a three-month trial of bimonthly meetings beginning in June and running through August. Council Members Al Hoop, fourth ward, and Bob Schubert, first ward, voted against the change.

Schubert said he opposed the motion because it specified that the joint meeting would hold the voting segment of the meeting first with the discussion portion second, saying the format does not give the public ample notification.

Hoop has opposed the switch since the mayor proposed it several weeks ago.

The council also voted unanimously to support a subordination agreement between the city and the owner of a home serviced by the Housing Department’s lead abatement program. It also approved the first reading and waved the second and third readings of an ordinance change concerning the seizure, impoundment and disposition of vicious animals.

Bethany Wirin, at-large council member, made the motion to wave the readings, saying she is aware of several problem situations the Animal Rescue League would like to be able to address. Marla Grabenbauer, third ward council member, seconded the motion.