Seven seek Main Street Fort Dodge position

With Fort Dodge back in the Main Street Iowa program, an executive director is needed to run the initiative locally.

Seven people have applied for the post, the city’s Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District Board learned Tuesday. That board has expanded its responsibilities to include oversight of the Main Street program.

The names of the candidates were not released Tuesday.

Applications were accepted until 5 p.m. Friday. Interviews are expected to be conducted next month, with a director potentially being hired in November or December.

In other Main Street-related business, the board talked about positioning signs near the entryways to downtown that will indicate to people that they are entering a Main Street community. Two of those signs were given to Fort Dodge by state officials.

Board members agreed to place them at the east end of the Karl King Viaduct on Second Avenue South and at the intersection of First Avenue South and 15th Street.

Board Chairman Steve Pederson suggested the intersection of 12th Street and Fifth Avenue South as the location for a third sign. Additional signs can be bought for $100 each.

A new name invoking both Main Street and the district was approved by the board. That name is Main Street Fort Dodge, a Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District.

The board approved payment of $3,752 to Earthplanter of Auburn, New York, for the seven tall vases placed on Central Avenue between Eighth and Ninth streets. Each vase will be filled with plants.

The black stone planters replace trees that once lined that section of street. New trees cannot be planted there because their roots would interfere with underground utilities, according to Carissa Harvey, the senior city planner.

An Oct. 15 bicycle race in downtown received the support of the board. The board agreed to contribute $1,500 to the Rock n’ Rail 1850 event.

Organizer Meg Beshey told the board that 100 to 150 bicyclists will race for 10 laps on a course that includes parts of Central Avenue and First Avenue North.

She said the race will raise money to support the Webster County trails system.

Pederson described the race as an “opportunity to showcase our downtown area.”

The Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District is a roughly 33-block area in which downtown property owners pay an extra tax to finance improvements there. The Main Street program works to develop downtowns by focusing on design, organization, promotion and economic vitality.