Pocahontas: Celebrates expansion

Arlington Place completes $1 million project

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari Arlington Place of Pocahontas, a retirement community, recently completed a $1 million project. The project created a memory center and expanded the community’s services.

POCAHONTAS — The city of Pocahontas has been making some improvements to help bring new businesses to town.

Eric List, Pocahontas city administrator, said the town has been working on that over the past year.

One of the more notable changes is a building downtown which used to be a plumbing business. The city took over the building and remodeled it, including giving it a new roof.

“We’re working to either rent or lease that out, or rehab it to bring it to a usable structure,” he said. “We’re also, at this point, tearing down the old bowling alley outside of town and basically turning that into a usable commercial lot to allow for additional growth, especially along the Highway 3 corridor.”

Pocahontas also saw expansion with Arlington Place of Pocahontas, 101 N.E. Fifth St. Last summer, the retirement community announced plans for a $1 million renovation project to make improvements to the building.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari Downtown Pocahontas has a number of businesses and nearly every storefront is full, according to City Administrator Eric List.

Those renovations were completed in January, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Jan. 25.

At the time the renovations were announced, Allison Law, vice president of Senior Housing Management, which oversees Arlington Place, highlighted the changes to the facility.

“Not only will we be putting in new, high-end floor coverings and improving common area space in Memory Care, but an updated sprinkler system will also be installed,” Law said. “Additional parking will also be added for residents and their guests.”

The improvements will benefit multiple groups.

“We are looking forward to improving not only the community’s atmosphere, but also providing the safest home possible for the residents of Arlington Place of Pocahontas,” she said.

According to List, the renovations will greatly improve Pocahontas as well.

“There’s an aging population in the state, and having those facilities and abilities to offer that type of service is beneficial,” he said. “Not only to our residents but those that like to visit and relocate here in conjunction with our other medical facilities.”

He said Arlington Place’s expansion increases the city’s ability to service that population.

“I’m excited to see it,” he said. “It’s very interesting. It’s always nice to see a business that’s willing to invest in the community.”

In addition to economic development, List said there have been a number of city projects as well.

“We’ve been very busy,” he said. “We’re just continuing to work on projects, especially from a city standpoint.”

Regulations from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources prompted some of those projects, as well as upgrades to the city’s sewer plant.

“From a city standpoint, we’re just moving forward,” List said.

The Pocahontas Public Library also saw some changes in 2016, according to Lola DeWall, the library’s director.

Perhaps the biggest change was receiving a Pocahontas County Foundation grant for iPads, which DeWall said will be helpful to adults, as well as children.

“They can also be used as a learning tool for adults,” she said. “We can bring them in and have them look at the iPads. We’ll be getting them in the spring.”

There’s also a new program coming to the library in February.

“In February, we do Blind Date with a Book,” DeWall said. “We wrap up books and ask patrons to take it home and rate their date. It’s a fun way to get the month of February off to a great start.”

Aesthetic changes were also made to the library in 2016, according to DeWall.

“We’re working on putting back designs on our walls,” she said. “We repainted all our walls.”

DeWall said it had been about 30 years since the library did any painting.

“It’s a cozy atmosphere,” she said of the new look. “We encourage people to come in and visit.”

List said one of the city’s goals for the new year is attracting young adults to move to the Princess City, and has been working on recruitment efforts to help make that happen.

“We’ve been continuing to actively recruit,” he said. “Everyone’s continuing to look and recruit youth.”

He said he’s looking forward to the new year, saying it brings “new challenges, new opportunities.”

“We’re trying to keep the businesses and encourage growth locally, as well as expansion here.”


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