The Keokuk City Council is taking steps to be able to apply for a $500,000 state grant that could be used to improve the look of the city’s downtown district.
The former Eagles building in downtown Keokuk will be open for business in January.
Crews started renovating the building at the corner of 4th and Blondeau Streets in March.
The two-story structure will feature both commercial and residential space.
Joyce Glasscock is the Executive Director of Main Street Keokuk, Inc. A subsidiary of MSK, Keokuk Downtown Properties, owns the building.
Keokuk is looking for some help as it gets ready for "company."
The city will host the 26th annual Iowa Downtown Summit on August 21 and 22. The event is expected to bring more than 350 individuals from across the state and the country to Keokuk.
They will hear presentations on a variety of topics: development, preservation, retail and social media.
Mayor Tom Marion says organizers want to put a "bright, shiny face" on the city for the event., so a special downtown clean-up event is scheduled for Saturday morning.
Keokuk is putting more money into tourism efforts as the city council has agreed to boost funding for the Convention and Tourism Bureau by $7,000.
The increase would bring the total for the current fiscal year to $140,000.
Tourism Director Kirk Brandenberger requested the increase based on Keokuk’s last fiscal year being its best ever when it comes to hotel-motel tax revenue.
He says the tax generated $276,000, which is up from the projected total of $260,000.
Keokuk’s Walk of Fame is expected to grow this summer.
The first plaque is in place on a planter at the corner of 4th and Main Streets. It features Chief Keokuk, the city’s namesake.
Main Street Keokuk’s Joyce Glasscock says more plaques will be added in the coming weeks and months.
“We have sold or found sponsors for a total of 15 of the 24 who will be on the Walk of Fame,” says Glasscock, “so we are very excited about that.”