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Friday, June 29, 2012

Let Freedom Ring Celebration

Just 24-hours away from Montezuma's annual Let Freedom Ring Celebration!  Events kick-off with fabulous Dad's Belgian Waffles at Vannoys and The 5/10K Firecracker Walk/Run at Diamond Lake Park.  Stick around town throughout the morning and afternoon for great deals at participating merchants, marketplace on the square, "Star & Stripes Forever" parade, entertainment, games, 1st Annual Shootout with a live DJ, waterball fights, delicious food, museum tours, and more.  Grab a cold one and keep the party rockin' with Flip Top at Lake Ponderosa Bar & Grill and FIREWORKS! 

For a complete list of all events visit

Farmers Market Coming Soon

Every Tuesday from 3-6 p.m. begining July 10th
Poweshiek County Historical Society & Museum
Support Your Local Growers!


Summer Nights on the Square

Entertainment, Food, Games, Antique Cars, & FREE!
Second Tuesday of the Month from 6-8 p.m.



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Council Adopts Housing Committee Recommendations

The city council heard the housing committee's recommendations for the south housing development in regular session on Monday evening.  The council moved to adopt the recommendations and to move forward with the subdivision design layout of 24 lots.  Seven of the lots that were originally slated for single-family homes will now be zoned for multi-family dwellings.  Determination of lot prices will be made once MMS Consulting of Iowa City returns to the council with final estimates on infrastructure build out.  There are several additional steps needed before lots are available to market, however the city is hopeful that work can begin by this fall.  The council requested MCD to organize a housing review board that will oversee individual building plans and adherence to subdivision covenants.  The council will continue to have final authority on approval of home building permits.  The five recommendations of the housing committee are as follows:

  1. The city must continue enforce and elevate the rate of Montezuma property maintenance ordinances. 
  2. The city’s adoption of a land-use and zoning policy will be necessary for the housing committee to participate in a more comprehensive housing plan for the future.
  3. The city should move forward in completing the south housing development with the current plan of 24 lots, with lots 18-24 zoned for multi-family housing. 
  4. Lots for the south housing development should be kept affordable, approximately 10% of the cost of new construction.
  5. The city should adopt the subdivision covenants recommended by the housing committee. 


Downtown Historic District NOW Listed!

The National Park Service and Montezuma's Certified Local Government is pleased to announce that the Montezuma Downtown Historic District has been officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The district includes the areas around the courthouse square, including 3rd & 4th Streets and Liberty & Main.  Hurray! 

I Love A Parade - Saturday, June 30

Businesses, organizations and individuals are encouraged to participate in the annual July 4th parade being held on Saturday, June 30th.  Entrants are encouraged to build their entry around this year's theme, "Stars and Stripes Forever".  Parade line-up begins at 9:00 a.m. at the south school parking lot.  Pre-registration is not required, but is helpful.  Registration forms are available at Vannoy's, Ron's, Ladybug, The Record and the city office.   This year's parade will be led by Dale and Pat Watts and announced by 89.7 FM KRNF.  The kid's pet, bike & doll parade will line-up at 9:00 a.m. at the Presbyterian church and begin at 9:30 a.m. on Main Street. 

Tuesday Farmers Market Begins in July

Vendors for Montezuma's Farmers Market are now being accepted for the 12-week market season which will begin Tuesday, July 10th.  The market will be held each Tuesday from 3-6 p.m. at the Poweshiek County Historical Society & Museum.  Vendor fees are $15 for single market participants, or $30 for the entire season.  Vendors are responsible for their own set-up, including tables and tents as needed.  Electricity is not provided.  Fees will benefit the Poweshiek County Museum project.  Interested vendors should contact market coordinator Mitch Gill at A Royal Treatment, 641-623-4472.    Event promotion is being handled by the MCD office.

All Vets Memorial Phase II

Montezuma American Legion Post 169 has announced the second phase of the All Vets Memorial on the Poweshiek County Courthouse lawn.  Orders for personalized bricks to complete the fourth recognition panel at the memorial are now being accepted.  The All Vets Memorial was dedicated in 2007 and honors all veterans who have served or are serving in defense of the nation in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.  Personalized bricks can be purchased with two lines of text for $60, and three lines of text for $70.  Completed order forms are needed before September 3, 2012, and are available at many local businesses and the Poweshiek County Courthouse.

Weekend Entertainment Guide

Friday, June 22nd
Children's Storytime @ the Montezuma Public Library, 10:30 a.m.
Margarita Night @ Star Lanes, Great Bowling Specials, 4 p.m.
Montezuma Baseball vs. Iowa Valley @ Home 6 p.m.
Barnes City Community Betterment Dance @ 9 p.m. (Quonset)

Saturday, June 23rd
30th Annual SIG C-L Contest @ SIG Field
Braves Open @ Montezuma Country Club
Glow Bowl @ Star Lanes, 7 p.m.
Karaoke @ Lake Ponderosa Bar & Grill
The Runkles Live @ Monte Tap 9 p.m.

Sunday, June 24th
30th Annual SIG C-L Contest @ SIG Field

Community Announcements

The deadline to pre-register for the June 30th 5/10K Firecracker Walk/Run to benefit the Safe Playground project for the school is this Wednesday.  Visit the community website for more information and all July 4th festival events

Thank you Dennis and Nancy Dorsheimer for 41 years of ministry and service to the Montezuma community.  An open house to honor the Dorsheimers will be held at the Jackson Church of Christ on Sunday, June 24th at 4 p.m.

Cookbooks to benefit the American Cancer Society are available for $12 at Three Sisters and Brownells.

Quote of the Week

"Fear is part of everything you do...You have to take great risks to get big rewards."

- Greg Louganis

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Region 6 Housing Improvement Workshop on Wednesday

An informational session on Region 6 funding available for local home and property owners and first-time home buyers will take place on Wednesday, June 13th at 4:30 p.m. at the Montezuma City Office.  The session is open to the public.  Highlights on these and other property improvement assistance programs for the Montezuma area can be read on the June 1st blog post below.  Up to $24,000 could be available for your home improvement project. 

Summer Nights Begins Tonight

Montezuma's Summer Nights series begins tonight on the downtown square.  The event which is sponsored by the Ministerial Association will feature food, games, inflatables, antique cars and live music featuring Breaking Adam, a local Christian band.  All Summer Nights activities are free and family-friendly.  July through September events will be held the second Tuesday of the month. 

July 4th Parade "Stars & Stripes Forever" Entries Sought

The MCD office is coordinating this year's July 4th parade which is scheduled for Saturday, June 30 at 10:00 a.m.  Businesses, organizations and individuals may pre-register their plans to participate by picking up a registration form at Ron's, The Lady Bug, Vannoys, The Record, Simone's, or the City Office.  Parade line-up begins at 9:00 a.m. in the south school parking lot.  This year's parade will be led by Dale and Pat Watts and announced by local radio station 89.7 FM KRNF. 

Director's Quill

Montezuma's Community Beautification Project has now entered the third and final phase for the summer months.  Earlier this spring, over 120 volunteer hours supported Clean-Up! efforts throughout the community and the downtown area. And last week several volunteers worked together to Plant Up! the square.  I want to take a moment to recognize and thank the many volunteers and project partners that have made this effort to beautify the downtown corridor:

Project Partners

Wilcox All-Pro Tools
DeJong Manufacturing
Montezuma FFA
James Greenhouse
K & F Hahn Concrete
Keep Iowa Beautiful
Paint Iowa Beautiful
Montezuma Light & Power
South Central Iowa Solid Waste Agency
Main Street Hardware
Poweshiek County ISU Extension
Montezuma Lions Club
Earth Day Clean-Up Volunteers
Vannoy Chevrolet

Financial Sponsors

Ellis Home Interiors
Three Sisters Fabrics
Simone’s Cuppa
Peoples Savings Bank
Montezuma State Bank
Coleman Agency Inc.
A1 Fiberglass
Monte Manufacturing
Poweshiek County Supervisors
City of Montezuma
Montezuma Light & Power
Manestreet Hair Designers
Roorda Transport

Plant Up! Volunteers

Karon Johnson
Carol Bohoenek
Terri Johnson
Sheryl Freeborn
Jo Ahrens
Ron Hensel
Bea Hensel
Janet McKee
Janet Peiffer
Casey Peiffer
Mitch Gill
Barb Albin
Doris Rindles
Teri Remmp
Deb Vermeer
Kathy Barger
Julie Widmer
Betty Snook
Cathe Wilson
Georgia VanRoekel
Rosie Serber

Phase III Flower Power Volunteers

Terence Blain
Deb Vermeer
Carolyn Woods
Bob & Barb Albin
Vince & Karon Johnson
Janet McKee
Phyliss Freeborn
Patty Collins

Phase III Volunteers take care of watering the streetscape planters, baskets and other landscaping around downtown.  We are still seeking volunteers who are willing to serve on an alternate roster.  Watering works best in teams of two and takes about one-hour.  Give me a call if you want to be added to the list, 641-623-7600. 

I also wanted to give a shout out to our utility guys for filling and moving planters and hanging baskets and our new banners.  Everything looks terrific!

In the fall we will welcome the Iowa Downtown Resource Center's community engagement team to Montezuma.  The team will work directly with many community leaders and downtown stakeholders in gathering input for a future downtown plan.  At the end of the second day, the team will present back their findings in a public forum, and later provide the City with a written plan for future downtown development.  The Downtown Resource Center brings 25 years of experience in working with Iowa communities, including Iowa's Main Street program.  Other Main Street communities in the region include Belle Plain and Oskaloosa. 

Terence Blain, Director
Montezuma Community Development

Quote of the Week

After you've done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over. 

~Alfred Edward Perlman, New York Times, 3 July 1958



Monday, June 4, 2012

Downtown Revitalization Meeting Tuesday Night

A public forum for downtown revitalization will be held Tuesday evening, June 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the City Office.  Participants will have an opportunity to hear a progress report on Montezuma's downtown revitalization and beautification efforts, find out more about how public-private partnerships for revitalization work, and participate in a group exercise to provide input to the City of Montezuma and Montezuma Community Development to envision a future for downtown.  This third in a series of public forums hopes to engage the community-at-large to work towards a downtown facade improvement grant.  The grant program through the Iowa Economic Development Authority, could offer up to $500,000 in funding for downtown improvements.  Tuesday night's meeting will last one hour.  Please note, the meeting scheduled for Sunday, June 17 has been cancelled.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Montezuma Housing & Property Improvement Assistance Available

Region 6 Housing Trust Fund

New homeowners, existing homeowners or rental property owners may be eligible for up to $10,000 in housing assistance through the Region 6 Housing Trust Fund. 

Existing home owners living in Montezuma (rural and residential, and throughout Region 6) may be eligible for this program, certain requirements apply.  Up to $10,000 in housing improvement assistance is available. It may be provided in the form of a forgivable loan and some may be repayable depending on income. Rental property owners may qualify for a 2% APR 5 year mortgage.

Region 6 HOME Program

This forgivable loan program is designed for first time home buyers in Montezuma (rural and residential, and throughout Region 6) who wish to purchase homes in need of rehabilitation. The forgivable loan issued through this program is extended to a 10 year period. The project allows up to $24,999 for hard construction and will allow for extra dollars for lead safe improvements. It covers all aspects of home improvement with the exception of remodeling. This program only assists with rehabilitation.

The typical eligible improvements under the program include:
Roofing, replacement siding, replacement windows and doors, new soffit and fascia, new gutters, minor electrical and panel improvements, painting, insulation, furnaces, hot water heaters, and other items that are needed to meet program requirents.

Both the Housing Trust Fund and HOME Program are administered by the Region 6 Housing Commission.  Please visit for more details on the program or to obtain an online application.  Or you may contact Donna Sampson at 800-417-4699 or

Montezuma Energy-Star Rebate Program

Montezuma Municipal Light & Power and the Montezuma Natural Gas Department are working together to make it easier for residential and commercial customers to implement green practices in homes and businesses. The 2012 rebate program, which in effect until the end of the calendar year, encourages customers to adopt energy-efficient measures to offset the costs of increasing energy demands, and the ability to continue negotiating competitive rates for the consumer. The rebate program includes reimbursements towards the installation of energy-efficient lighting components, Energy Star Rated appliances, HVAC upgrades and weatherization improvements. Interested persons should call the city office at 641-623-5012, or to pick up a copy of the program specifications Monday through Friday between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Montezuma Sidewalk Repair Program

The City of Montezuma would like to remind residents that matching funds are still available for the subsidized Sidewalk Repair Program. In order to qualify, applicants must follow the repair and reconstruction guidelines in accordance with the provisions of the City Ordiances and follow prescribed specifications, which are available from the City Office. The maximum length of sidewalk reimbursement is 132 feet per property, with the maximum allowed price for removal and replacement of sidewalk at $20 per linear foot. The city will reimburse 50% of that cost or $10 per linear foot. Applications are processed on a first come, first served basis until the funds allocated for the year have been expended.  Interested persons should call the city office at 641-623-5012, or to pick up a copy of the program specifications Monday through Friday between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Montezuma Receives Grant from Paint Iowa Beautiful

Montezuma Community Development is proud to announce that Montezuma has received a 2012 grant through Paint Iowa Beautiful.  The Poweshiek County Historical Society and Museum will receive up to half the grant with plans to improve existing window and door frames, and railings at both of their facilities on the south west side of the square.  The remainder of the grant is still available for one business or home in Montezuma.  The projects must be completed by volunteers and occur in the 2012 calendar year. 

The program that partners with Diamond Vogel Paint, provides free paint to a wide variety of public service projects throughout Iowa. "This nine-year partnership with Keep Iowa Beautiful Allows Diamond Vogel to assist and work with many local volunteers that help build pride in their communities where they live and work," said Doug Vogel, Vice-President, Trade Marketing, of the Iowa based company. "Our company has awarded over 6,000 gallons of Diamond Vogel paint to over 275 projects in over 120 communities."

Gerald Schnepf, Executive Director of Keep Iowa Beautiful added, "The Paint Iowa Beautiful program helps us increase our assistance to neighborhoods, communities, historic projects and other public service organizations in improving the attractiveness and beauty of our home areas. These projects definitely improve the beauty of Iowa, its countryside and its communities."
Keep Iowa Beautiful is a non-profit organization affiliated with Keep America Beautiful. Program efforts include litter reduction, public nuisance abatement and beautification programs.

Diamond Vogel is an Iowa based, family owned company started in 1926 by Andrew Vogel. It serves 13 states with seven manufacturing facilities and over 60 service center outlets providing Architectural Finishes, Industrial and Original Equipment Finishes and Home Decorating Products.

For more information, please contact Montezuma Community Development at or 641-623-7600. 

Get 10 Free Trees for Your Property in Montezuma

The Arbor Day Foundation offers 10 Free Ornamental Trees through their $10 Membership Program.  Based on Montezuma's growing region, new members are eligible for 2 White Flowering Dogwoods, 2 Flowering Crabapples, 2 Washington Hawthorns, 2 Eastern Redbuds and 2 Goldenraintrees.  $10 annual memberships also include a 33% discount on other tree purchases, a subscription to the Arbor Day newsletter which includes helpful gardener tips, and a copy of The Tree Book.  For more information on personal and gift memberships or to begin receiving your 10 free trees, go to  Remember to call 811 before you dig!