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Area towns take welcome steps to improve downtowns

Humboldt is latest to join the trend

Add Humboldt to the ranks of American communities ready to revitalize its downtown core.

The City Council there has awarded a $1.35 million contract for a major downtown project. The work includes improving storefronts, installing new streetlights, replacing a worn-out traffic signal with stop signs and removing trees. Sande Construction and Supply Co., of Humboldt, won the contract.

The contract wasn’t awarded on a unanimous council vote, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Such split votes are just part of democracy in action.

By awarding the contract, Humboldt’s elected officials are moving forward with a whole new look for the heart of their community.The $1.35 million price tag may have seemed daunting, but the members of council saw the long term benefits of the project.

Humboldt isn’t the only area community making an investment in its downtown. In Fort Dodge, two intersections that are eastern gateways to downtown — Central Avenue and 15th Street and First Avenue South and 15th Street — will be rebuilt in a project expected to start this fall. And in Eagle Grove, city leaders are seeking public input on a downtown overhaul. That initative will address intersections, sidewalks and street lights, among other things, along West Broadway Street.

Projects like those help ensure the viability and attractiveness of communities. Moving forward with them is in the best interests of a town.