When the City of La Porte City begins its transformation of Main Street next year, it will have backing from the Black Hawk County Gaming Commission (BHCGC) in the form of a $750,000 grant to support the multi-million dollar project. Last week, the City received confirmation from the BHCGC that the grant application it had submitted in support of the Main Street Redevelopment Project earlier this year will be fully funded. The last major reconstruction of Main Street occurred in 1947, when the street was widened to accommodate vehicles and parking.
The centerpiece of the Main Street Redevelopment Project is the reconstruction of Main Street. Plans include replacement of the brick streets, sidewalks and lighting as well as updated amenities including benches, banners and way finding signage. The project also includes completion of Wolf Creek Park and reconstruction Wolf Creek Trail. Wolf Creek Park is a three-acre park on the banks of Wolf Creek located one block from the commercial district. In 2017, the City purchased the property that now makes up the park and cleared the overgrown banks, making way for the construction of a kayak landing. Plans to complete the park include a walking path, restrooms, benches, lighting and a 30’ x 40’ open pavilion to host community events.
Wolf Creek Trail is also located near the commercial district. When complete, the paved trail will connect Main Street to the Cedar Valley Nature Trail, providing easy access for trail users to businesses in the commercial district. The trail will also feature way finding signage, benches, lighting and an ADA compliant fishing overlook. Other features of the redevelopment project include reconstruction of the City parking lot, an overlook of Wolf Creek and the development of an empty lot on Main Street into a pocket park.
In other business, the council adopted Ordinance 552, which amends the City’s Development Ordinance, removing all references to festivals, carnivals and circuses from Chapter 165 of the Code of Ordinances. The Council then adopted Ordinance 553, which adds Chapter 124, allowing for a temporary use permit to the Code of Ordinances. The new chapter allows festivals, carnivals and circuses with City Council permission. These changes were made due to the fact that the previous ordinance required approval from the Board of Adjustment before any festivals, carnivals or circuses could be allowed by the City. Moving approval to a new chapter in the Code streamlines the approval process and eliminates the $100 cost that accompanies a Board of Adjustment request.
Two appointments were also approved by the Council. Greg Pipho was appointed to serve on the La Porte City Utilities Board of Trustees. Pipho’s term will begin September 1 and run for six years. Shelly Hopkins was appointed to serve on the Economic Development Commission. Her term will expire December 31, 2020.