SL Leaders Say Incentive Program Is Revitalizing City's Downtown Area

Wed 1-10-2018

            (Spirit Lake)-- Spirit Lake city leaders say a program that provides incentives to owners of buildings in the downtown area to make improvements is having a big positive impact. The city council Tuesday evening awarded $20,000 through the program for improvements to the former Royal Theatre building at 1721 Hill Avenue.

That's just one of numerous buildings in downtown Spirit Lake that have been renovated thanks in large part to the city's Olde Town Betterment Incentive Program. Mayor Ed Vos tells KUOO news the program is giving a revitalization to the city's downtown area...Vos03 

"The important thing of that is the council has set an objective to not have to raise property taxes. But doing something like this does something even more important: it raises property values. So you add the valuation to someone who has a house and, you know, that's the biggest investment for most people and to see that investment increase because of people building things and making things and improving things in our city is exciting."

As we reported previously, another building in the downtown area about to get a major facelift is one the city owns. Vos says work on the renovation of the police station is about to get underway...Vos04 

"Hopefully completion by Memorial Day is what we're looking at. So it's going to be in the same location, but they're basically flipping the entrance to the building. Right now the entrance is in the alley and so the entrance will be on the street as well so. Utilizing a great space that the city already owns and not building a new building, renovating that, giving the police force the space they need and a safe working environment for them and for people they come in contact with, so."

Tuesday's meeting was the first one of the new year for newly elected Mayor Vos and council member Rod James. The council approved the appointment of Greg Owens as City Administrator. They confirmed the Mayor's appointments of Owens as City Attorney and Jeff Hanson as Police Chief. Vos says he'll announce his selection of Mayor Pro-Tem at the council's next meeting.