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Winneshiek County Historical Preservation says it supports Decorah's Main Street Iowa application--with five reservations

Posted: Tue, Aug 6, 2019 10:34 AM

Winneshiek County Historic Preservation Commission Chair Steve Johnson says he'd like to clarify his organization's stance on Decorah's application to become a Main Street Iowa community.

At a previous Decorah City Council meeting, it was stated that WCHPC supports the application.  Johnson says that's true: "With Decorah's picturesque natural setting and the existing historical integrity of the downtown business district, revitalization of the commercial district and the creation of an economic development plan would provide major positive impact."

But speaking at Monday night's city council meeting, Johnson said WCHPC's letter of support also included five reservations:
  • "The process appears to have been rushed."
  • "The Decorah Main Street Steering Committee has not achieved a broad base of community support."
  • "Failure to include major stakeholders early in the process, such as the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce, Winneshiek County Development, Winneshiek County Supervisors and the Decorah Mayor weakens credibility of the project."
  • "Non-endorsement by these four above-mentioned entities may weaken the application."
  • "Lack of a clearly defined proposed budget, such as leaving in the county's financial support, even though the Board of Supervisors declined."