Main Street Fort Dodge wins grants

Kris Patrick

The New Main Street Fort Dodge program has won a pair of grants.

A $7,000 award from the Texas-based Build a Better Block program will help pay for sprucing up a small section of Central Avenue, Kris Patrick, the executive director of Main Street Fort Dodge, told the City Council Monday.

A $15,000 technical assistance grant from the statewide Main Street program will pay for a future survey of market needs.

The Build a Better Block grant will be used to address the south side of the 1100 block of Central Avenue. There is a vacant lot in the middle of the block where Keith’s Beer Garden stood before it was destroyed by fire. There are also a couple of vacant storefronts there.

Patrick said Main Street Fort Dodge volunteers will go to work on that block on April 11-12.

She said the Build a Better Block program uses, among other things, art and wooden street furniture that can be quickly assembled using rubber mallets to improve the appearance of an area.

She said the $15,000 grant will be used to complete a survey with the goal of identifying market needs and recruiting additional businesses to downtown Fort Dodge.

The survey work, she said, will involve interviewing business owners and consumers.

She didn’t indicate when that survey will be done.

Fort Dodge was readmitted to the Main Street program in August 2017 and Patrick was hired as the executive director in November 2017.