MCBD director gives a downtown update

With the help of committees there’s a lot going on downtown.

At the city council meeting Monday night, Jenny Etter, Marshalltown Central Business District director, gave an update about the district’s current projects.

Committees help with promotion, design, business improvement and the organization of downtown, Etter said.

The organization committee is working on a new event for this year – the Treasure’s Tour. The purpose of the event is to build interest in second-story building rehabilitation, Etter said.

“The community will be able to tour rehabilitated second-story residences in the downtown,” Etter said. “They are fabulous, I don’t think most of the community knows the beautiful homes that are in the second story of downtown buildings. They are pretty outstanding.”

The event will be held Oct. 18 and 200 tickets will be sold, Etter said.

Etter explained the events the promotions committee will hold this year. These events include the Art Walk, Holiday Stroll and Adopt-a-Vet programs.

A Latino Festival was going to be held, but because of lack of volunteers it was canceled by the committee. Etter said JBS and the local UFCW, who donated $1,500 to the event, gave the money to St. Mary’s Hispanic Ministries instead.

The design committee has been working on completing phase one of the pedestrian walkway, an alley between Apgar Photography Studio, 18 1/2 W. Main St., and Fiddle & Whistle Irish Pub, 20 W. Main St.

“Surfacing is supposed to happen sometime this week or next depending on the weather and depending on if they can get a crew in here,” Etter said. “That will complete phase one. Phase two will include some kind of public art and mural. That planning will hopefully be done by October.”

Etter also thanked the 20 volunteers involved in the floral basket program.

“These volunteers will be watering every day from now until the day after Oktemberfest,” Etter said “It’s a large task and our volunteers are really excited about it so we will see how excited they still are this fall. But we are hoping they keep their enthusiasm up.”

The business improvement committee is working on a community exchange program in Marion to get a feel of what the MCBD looks like from another community’s point of view, Etter said.

Marion volunteers have filled out a survey about the MCBD. Marshalltown volunteers will go to Marion and evaluate their community too, Etter said.

“We both share that information and have a look at our community from a different community’s eyes, which is really helpful,” Etter said. “That will go into our planning next year and seeing if we are on target with what our goals have been.”

Mayor Jim Lowrance said he appreciates all the work Etter, volunteers and the organization has done.

Etter said volunteer time and donations to MCBD are always accepted.