Mount Vernon-Lisbon volunteers walked away with a major award recently as presented by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. The Spirit of Main Street Award has only been given to seven communities since the program’s inception in the 30-year+ history of Main Street Iowa (MSI).
MSI hosted the 33rd annual Main Street Iowa Awards celebration Friday, March 8, at the Scottish Rite Consistory in Des Moines. The program honored the efforts of those who work day-in and day-out to revitalize Iowa’s downtowns – the heart and soul of communities across the state. The awards honor outstanding accomplishments, activities and people making a difference in the state’s Main Street districts.
This year, 19 projects were selected to be recognized from the 129 competitive nominations submitted. The honors were presented by Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Iowa Finance Authority Director Debi Durham and James Engle, director of IEDA’s Downtown Resource Center.
Two special awards were presented during the event. The community of Mount Vernon received the “Spirit of Main Street” for demonstrating the true program intent. The City of Dubuque and the Dubuque Main Street Program received the “Signature Project” award for the Steeple Square Project in Dubuque’s historic commercial district, which stood out among this year’s projects.
“Main Street Iowa has stood the test of time since its introduction in 1985,” said Durham. “We continue to see significant growth in the amount of business, jobs and investment in communities of all sizes due to the program. As a result, these districts serve as inspiring examples of what’s possible for Iowa’s downtowns. The Main Street Approach works. Main Street Iowa has been a national model because we are creative, we embrace change, and we demand local initiative and action,” Durham said.