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Fact check: There are not "one dozen empty storefronts" in downtown Decorah

Posted: Fri, Aug 2, 2019 8:47 AM

(Fact-checking of a claim made in a story)

In our article about the Main Street Iowa application submitted by the City of Decorah, we wrote: "Councilperson Steve Luse...considers the dozen vacant storefronts on Water Street distressing, and the Main Street Iowa program, he believes, is an important first step in revitalizing downtown Decorah."

Our job as news reporters is to make sure the public has the facts needed to make a decision and in this case, the facts are different than what Steve Luse claims.

Three empty storefronts in downtown Decorah are being filled with businesses that will open in the next week or two.  Three other storefronts are owned by people who are either using them for storage or for a living space.  That leaves just two empty storefronts--not twelve--in downtown Decorah.  Not only that, but empty storefronts in downtown Decorah aren't empty for very long--there's a lot of interest in being part of a vibrant downtown such as the one in Decorah.

Whatever your opinion about Decorah's Main Street Iowa application, we won't criticize you.  But the claim that there are a "distressing" number of empty storefronts--twelve in all--is false.