Downtown Group Focusing on Revitalization
Several local leaders have been gathering on a weekly basis to engage in conversation and plan next steps for Montezuma's downtown revitalization efforts. The gatherings are a result of last month's visit by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the immediate recommendations made for improving and bringing the community back to downtown. About a dozen individuals representing local merchants, the city, and community organizations are working together on the new initiatives.
Store Signage Program
A unified store signage program that communicates store hours will be rolling out in the next two weeks. Downtown group leaders Andrea Martin and Cathe Wilson have been visiting with store owners to present the signage program. The Montezuma themed signage design was created by LeAnn Hjelmland.
Stores are encouraged to place the new signage in a prominent area that can be seen by both pedestrian and commuter traffic. The new signage program is a step to promote a consumer friendly environment and increase customer traffic to downtown area merchants and services.
For several months, the City of Montezuma and Montezuma Community Development have been exploring Community Development Block Grant funding to bring facade improvements to our downtown storefronts. As much as $500,000 could be acquired for a downtown revitalization master plan that would address current blighted conditions and begin bringing transformation to our city center.
In order to proceed, participating building owners will need to sign a soft commitment to provide a 10-30% financial match toward each project. To better understand what that match might be, MCD has recently received a proposal that would provide design concepts and cost estimates for each facade. The proposal will be reviewed by the City of Montezuma with the hope that the city and local building owners will share ownership in the cost of the proposal. The details are expected to be announced in the coming days.
The grant application deadline is January 30, 2013. Grants will be awarded next spring, with a project that could begin in 2014 and be completed by 2015.
Winter Downtown Beautification
Downtown Beautification was a huge success this year and another positive step to visually enhance and create a more welcoming downtown environment. New lamppost banners, added sidewalk planters, hanging flower baskets and a downtown clean-up all contributed to a beautiful street scape for the summer and fall seasons.
A winter scape theme for our downtown sidewalk planters has been designed by Janet Pieffer from Blooming Endeavors. In the coming days, sidewalk planters will be cleared out to make way for the winter theme that will be ready for our downtown holiday celebrations. Montezuma Light & Power will also begin lighting up downtown in the coming weeks and in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.
To contribute to local beautification efforts and to Montezuma Community Development, please click the "Donate Now" button at the top right of this blog. Your online contributions enable us to continue doing this important work in Montezuma. We appreciate your support!
Hometown Holiday & Downtown Mingle & Jingle
Montezuma Hometown Holiday returns this year on Saturday, December 1st.
Breakfast with Santa - 8 AM, Montezuma Memorial Hall
Start your day out right as Montezuma Country Club prepares and serves breakfast. Tickets will be available at the door. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for kids of all ages. Treat bags provided by the Montezuma Boosters. Come back for Downtown Mingle & Jingle and warm up with a delicious Soup Supper at First Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Supper at 5 PM.
Cookie Walk - 10 AM, United Methodist Church
Hundreds of tasty homemade holiday treats and goodies will be available for purchase. Both small and large sized orders can be accommodated. The Cookie Walk will also be open during the evening Downtown Mingle & Jingle event.
Children's Story Hour - 10 AM, Montezuma Public Library
Bring the kids to the Public Library for a special hour of Christmas favorites and activities. Many holiday favorites will also be available for checkout. Return with the family for Downtown Mingle & Jingle and enjoy another special 6 PM Story Time for kids at Ellis Home Interiors.
Downtown Mingle & Jingle - 4:30 to 6:30 PM, Around Downtown
Don we now your favorite Christmas sweater, elf costume or Santa hat, and join us for Montezuma's Downtown Mingle & Jingle!
Stores will be open with live music, and activities for families and youth. Enjoy hot cider, cocoa, mulled wine, s'mores, and more. Decorate the square with lighted luminaries, enjoy a live Nativity, wrap gifts for Christmas Joy, and if you missed Breakfast with Santa don't worry - Kris Kringle and his lovely sidekick will be back for all the fun!
Reindeer Games at Star Lanes - FREE Christmas glow bowling for kids from 4:30-7:30 PM! Knock down red and green pins in a special 5-frame bowling activity.
Get your sugar plum on and find more sweet treats at the United Methodist Cookie Walk. Stuff your stockings until the cookies are gone!
Decorate sugar cookies with Galaxy and purchase Monte Bucks at Vannoy Chevrolet.
Home business showcase at Just4U Gifts & Consignments! Support school organizations during Open House at Coleman Agency and ManeStreet Hair. Live local talent at many other participating businesses! Fa-la-la-la-lah!
Vote for your favorite decorated Christmas tree at Remedy Drug or register for a free ham at any open business.
Come sit around the rocking chair and hear the Christmas story at Ellis Home Interior at 6 PM.
Join us at the Poweshiek County Historic Society at 6:30 PM for the Community Tree Lighting hosted by the Montezuma FFA. The Montezuma Boosters will also announce the lucky winners of Christmas hams and downtown Christmas tree decorating contest sponsored by their organization.
After the Tree Lighting, warm up at the Poweshiek County Museum with hot cider and traditional carols around the late 1800's pump organ. Holiday classics will be on the big screen at Star Lanes as Reindeer Games continues, or join Aaron at Monte Tap to cheer in the holidays with live music and your favorite spirits.
Many more surprises are in the works with something for everyone!
Hometown Holiday and Downtown Mingle & Jingle are a combined effort of downtown area merchants and Montezuma businesses, the City of Montezuma, Montezuma Boosters, Montezuma Community Development, area churches, and local youth organizations.