MUSCATINE, Iowa–Following discussion at the March 11 Muscatine City Council meeting, the city has entered the early phases of the Grandview Revitalization Project. According to Director of Community Development Jodi Royal-Goodwin, the project will consist of two parts, street reconstruction and broader efforts to promote economic development in the South End.
At this time, Royal-Goodwin reports that bids have already gone out for the roadwork portion of the Revitalization Project, which will stretch from Main Street to the Bypass. Following a public hearing and the Council’s acceptance of a bid, Royal-Goodwin anticipates construction beginning before the end of April. Designed as a two summer project, all street and sidewalk restoration should finish before the end of 2022.
In addition to this infrastructure work, the Grandview Revitalization Project will also look at improving the economy and quality of life in southern Muscatine. Though the corridor has a higher than average rate of homeownership, Royal-Goodwin acknowledged that the City can help revitalize the area in other ways.
To determine what changes residents would like to see to the area, Royal-Goodwin says the City will use the Community Heart & Soul Model, a four step process that helps residents identify what they like about their community and what issues they would like to see addressed and then work to find solutions to those models by integrating projects into the city budget over a period of years.
Over the summer, the City plans to form a guiding committee composed of residents living in the Grandview area and to hire an intern who can help coordinate the collection of community engagement data. Over the course of several months, this committee will use a variety of strategies to gather input on the project. These strategies will include standard interviews with long-time residents as well as more collaborative approaches, such as hosting community picnics with opportunities to share written feedback about the project, if public health guidance permits it.
Royal-Goodwin believes the data collection and interpretation process will go relatively quickly, taking about a year in all. Once the City has the information it needs, Royal-Goodwin will begin looking at ways to incorporate the goals of the Grandview Revitalization Project into both the City’s strategic plan and budget. Overall, Royal-Goodwin thinks it will take about three to five years to execute the goals the guiding committee and City agree on. If this model proves successful for the Grandview Avenue corridor, Royal-Goodwin would like to identify other parts of the city that could benefit from it and implement the same method there as well.