Chariton is one of three Iowa cities selected to participate in the Main Street Iowa program, Gov. Terry E. Branstad announced during a special ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the Capitol in Des Moines. The others are Jefferson, comparable in size to Chariton and located west of Des Moines, and Lansing, a Mississippi River city of 1,000 in the extreme northeast corner of the state. Marion and Keosauqua also had participated in the competitive Main Street application process. There now are 48 Main Street cities in Iowa.
More than a dozen of us were in Des Moines for the ceremony, joined by our legislators, Rep. Richard Arnold of Russell and Sen. Paul McKinley of Chariton, already there because the Legislature is in session. Along with delegations from Jefferson and Lansing, we packed to near-overflowing the conference room adjacent to Branstad's working office on the Capitol's ground floor.
Participating in the application process has been tremendously rewarding for me and I'm reasonably sure equally rewarding for everyone else involved. The support from the community at large has been tremendous. I think we're all excited about Chariton's potential and the part this program can play in helping us rise to it. The really hard work will begin in little more than two weeks, when Main Street is launched here.
After the ceremony, Richard and Paul graciously showed several of us around the House and Senate chambers and we explored other areas of the jaw-dropingly beautiful building on our own --- many of us hadn't actually been inside the building in years. All in all, it was about as good a day as it gets!