USDA Rural Development Assisted Woodbine’s Downtown Revitalization
Efforts through Funding for Medical Clinic, Fire Station Expansion and Building Renovations
DES MOINES,Iowa – May 19, 2014 – The southwest Iowa community of Woodbine, population 1,450 in Harrison County, yesterday received national recognition as one of three recipients of the 2014 Great American Main Street Award. The award was announced at the National Main Streets Conference in Detroit, Michigan.
Woodbine was recognized along with Milledgeville, Georgia and Harrisonburg, Virginia, in the award program organized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Semifinalist included Beaufort, South Carolina; Bedford, Pennsylvania; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Grand Haven, Michigan; Middlesborough, Kentucky; Pontiac, Illinois and Rawlins, Wyoming.
“Congratulations to the City of Woodbine and the Woodbine Main Street Program on receiving one of the nation’s top accolades for downtown revitalization,” said Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa. “We are extremely pleased that the community and its leaders were recognized for all their efforts to create new opportunities for local businesses and improve services, and we are happy to have played a part in helping with this revitalization of Woodbine’s downtown district.”
Several-community improvement projects lead to this national recognition including the community’s new medical clinic. The new clinic, which opened in 2011 and is operated by Alegent Health, provides greatly improved and additional medical services to residents in and around Woodbine. In the past year patient visits to the clinic have increased by more than 1,000.
In 2010 USDA Rural Development awarded a $945,000 loan and $199,500 grant to the Woodbine Community Development and Betterment Association for the construction of this facility.
Local developer 503 Walker LLC recently renovated two buildings for a restaurant, as well as commercial and retail space and apartments in the community’s downtown. In 2010 the developer used a $29,750 USDA Rural Development grant to install energy-saving geothermal heating and cooling systems in the buildings.
Additionally, USDA Rural Development grants totaling $200,000 were used to assist in the expansion of the Woodbine fire station as well as purchase a new fire truck, improving the level of emergency services provided to the community.
“Across the state many rural towns are renovating their downtown areas to keep their communities alive and vibrant,” Menner added. “Woodbine is definitely a shining example of what can be accomplished when local leaders have a vision toward the future.”
Contact USDA Rural Development
For more information about USDA Rural Development please call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,000 jobs, aided 2,600 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 60 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.