“Bumpouts” and “parklets” will soon be a reality for Manning’s Main Street.
The green spaces that will adorn the city’s downtown street are one of the recommendations that came out of Manning’s collaboration with the Community Visioning Program, and with a technical-assistance Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the city is moving forward with the plans.
This isn’t Manning’s first Challenge Grant, but this year’s grant, totaling $3,500 with Main Street Manning matching the amount, is different because it covers technical assistance — in this case, engineering — rather than brick-and-mortar costs, Main Street Manning Board President Ron Reischl said.
Manning is working with JEO Consulting Group to design the spaces in the coming months, and construction should be complete next year, Reischl said.
The Community Visioning proposals initially designed the “parklets” as spaces with trees or plants and benches, but after Manning’s recent collaboration with the Iowa State University College of Design to brainstorm public art ideas, some of those might be incorporated into the streetscape projects as well, Reischl said.
The grant will cover the engineering and design for the project, and the city will raise additional dollars to pay for the construction of the spaces.
The project will serve two purposes — beautifying Main Street and providing a place to sit and relax, and adding areas that make the high curbs more accessible, Reischl said.
Past Challenge Grants awarded to Manning have helped pay for an upper-story apartment and interior renovations at The Market Place, Cliff’s Place and Deb’s Corner Cafe.
With this most recent allocation, the Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded a total of $965,500 to 14 Main Street cities in Iowa for brick-and-mortar costs and $61,000 to 12 Main Street Iowa cities for technical assistance costs, including Manning, Jefferson and Greenfield. Each city is providing additional dollars for the projects the grants will help fund.
“The Main Street Iowa Challenge grants have proven to be catalysts for the revitalization of Iowa’s historic main streets,” IEDA Director Debi Durham said in a news release. “These projects represent the ongoing commitment the people of our state — both our elected officials and private citizens — have to the revitalization of our historic downtown districts. Rehabilitated downtown buildings create opportunities for new business and new residences in the core of our communities.”
Link to story and picture