2nd Mississippi Drive Engagement Event Was a Success!

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Thanks to the over 175 participants in our 2nd Mississippi Drive Corridor Event! Your time and participation is much appreciated and will make for a better project. Stay tuned for more!

City of Muscatine

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2nd public engagement event for the Mississippi Drive Corridor Project! We were pleased with the attendance and high level of participation by community members. The event was held on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the Riverview Center. There were about 175 people who came to hear about potential design plans and provide feedback in a public opinion poll.

If you were unable to attend and would like to take a look at initial design concepts and submit feedback, you may do so at our engineering firm Bolton & Menk’s website: http://bolton-menk.com/mississippidrive.

The Mississippi Drive Corridor Project is exciting for Muscatine! Not only will the road be redone, but Muscatine will be better connected as a result of this project. Mississippi Drive is the key connector of downtown and the riverfront. As our community comes together to create a shared vision for the future of Mississippi Drive…

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How is the Muscatine Fire Department Staffed?

City of Muscatine

Muscatine Fire DepartmentA few weeks ago, I had a nice time touring the Muscatine Fire Department and learning more about how the department works. Now, I’m going to give you a more in-depth look at how the Fire Department organizes itself in order to protect and care for Muscatine’s citizens. Today, I will tell you about staffing and the procedures in place to assure that Fire and EMS services are carried out safely and effectively.

The Fire Department is a 37 uniformed member department. This includes a Fire Chief and an Assistant Chief who each work a 40 hour per week schedule and 35 members who each work a 56 hour work week on 24 hour shifts.

There are three different shift rotations that 35 members of the Fire Department work within – Blue, Green and Red shifts. Two shifts have 12 personnel and one shift has 11. I’m going to break down the…

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What’s Goes On in Public Works?

City of Muscatine

Hello there!

It’s Emily Lofgren here with the City of Muscatine. I’m glad you’re taking the time to read more about the Public Works Department.

As I’ve toured the various departments within the City, I have enjoyed learning how each department plays a significant role in making things run smoothly in the community. The Public Works Department is the largest department with 70 employees split into 10 divisions and a $12 Million operational budget. It was one of the first departments I began to learn more about.

Muscatine Public Works Sam Ravenscraft is a Vehicle Mechanic in the Vehicle Maintenance Division of Public Works. He spends his time making sure the vehicles in the department run smoothly.

Some of the Public Works divisions and functions include:

  • Building and Grounds – Maintaining the many public buildings and grounds visited daily by Muscatine residents and the business community
  • Engineering – Managing and designing projects and participating in…

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Muscatine’s Mississippi Drive Corridor Project

Mississippi Drive Corridor Project:  A complete streets project and signature entryway into the City of Muscatine!

The City of Muscatine, Iowa, is soliciting qualifications from interested engineering firms to provide design services and other related work for the “Mississippi Drive Corridor Reconstruction Project”. This proposal includes the reconstruction of 1.6 miles of U.S. 61-Business (pavement and curb/gutter); street lighting, landscaping, gateway features; pedestrian crossings and sidewalk improvements; traffic signals and geometric improvements; and storm drainage improvements and roadway embankment work intended to improve flood protection. The work would focus on four distinct areas adjoining Muscatine’s Central Business District. The improvement segments include the HNI Campus Area, Downtown Area, High Sidewalk (Bluff) Area and the Carver Corner Area. The objectives for the proposal include meeting the objectives of Muscatine’s complete street policy by improving both Muscatine’s quality of life and image by providing a safe and attractive environment for street users of all ages and abilities such as motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, mass transit, children, senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, freight carriers, emergency responders and adjacent land users; modernizing U.S. 61-Business through the reconfiguration and reconstruction of the sub-standard, deteriorated roadway; and enhancing aesthetics throughout the corridor that are consistent with Muscatine’s riverfront improvements. Work will include plan development, public meetings, design development, final design, technical specifications and drawings.

Mississippi Drive Corridor Project Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

The following resources provide further background information, technical data, and the potential vision for the Mississippi Drive Corridor Project.  These resources can be found at the following link: http://www.muscatineiowa.gov/941/Mississippi-Drive-Corridor-ProjectMississippi Drive Corridor Study

  • Corridor Alignment and Geometric Alternative Analysis
  • Traffic Analysis Geometric Alternative
  • IA 92 Pavement History Map
  • Mississippi Riverfront Study June 1997
  • Vision for Mississippi Drive
  • Comprehensive Plan
  • Complete Street Policy

The City is currently in the process of selecting an engineering firm to bring this project from concept to reality.

Our first step will be to engage the community, its residents and key stakeholders in a formal public process.

Mississippi Drive Today

BZ_MuscatineIA_Before

Mississippi Drive Tomorrow?

BZ_MuscatineIA_After

These images were prepared for Muscatine by Dan Burden and the Blue Zones Team.  “Dan Burden provides a framework and action plan for communities to change their environments into safe, walkable, bike-able and livable communities where individuals and businesses thrive.” (http://www.bluezones.com/walkability-3/)

For more information on Blue Zones, Dan Buettner, and Dan Burden’s efforts please see the following link: http://www.bluezones.com

Stayed tuned for more information and please participate!

City of Muscatine Complete Streets Policy

The above photo is from the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute (WALC).  Their website and more information on complete streets can be found at http://www.walklive.org.  The WALC Institute helps to create healthy, connected communities that support active living and that advance opportunities for all people through walkable and bikeable streets, livable cities and better built environments.

The City of Muscatine has adopted a complete streets policy.  A complete street is a safe, accessible, and convenient street for all users regardless of transportation mode, age, or physical ability. Complete streets adequately provide for bicyclists, pedestrians, transit riders, and motorists, by matching the needs of travelers to the uses surrounding a street. It provides safe travel for people using any legal mode of travel. Every complete street looks different with component features varying based on context, topography, road function, the speed of traffic, pedestrian and bicycle demand, and other factors. Based on context, common features of complete streets include: sidewalks, paved shoulders, bike lanes, safe crossing points, accessible curb ramps, pedestrian refuge medians, bus stop access, sidewalk “bump-outs” at intersections, and access to adjacent trails in a “corridor”.

Complete Streets Policy

Additional information and awards:

Muscatine Small Business Forgivable Loan Program

Muscatine’s Small Business Forgivable Loan Program

Ready for you small business to take off?

The City of Muscatine is offering Small Business Forgivable Loans for startup and expansion cost. Businesses can obtain a loan for up to $25,000 for the business at a term of 5 years with 20% of the original loan forgiven annually at the anniversary of the origination of the loan. Funds are allocated up to $15,000 for startup cost and up to $10,000 for code compliance. Businesses receiving funding must be new businesses or be significantly expanding business operations to be eligible. Applicant must meet 1:1 (applicant investment v. grant funding) (may be waived in whole or in part by the City Administrator upon recommendation of the committee). Inventory is not an eligible grant funded expense but does count toward match. The City has allocated $100,000 in funding annually.  Funds will be awarded to qualifying businesses based on availability of funds.  This is a great example of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) at work in our community!

Purpose:  Promote in-fill and redevelopment in targeted areas throughout Muscatine.

Objective:
– Improve Building Infrastructure
– Assist with Capital Equipment Purchases
– Offset Cost of Historic Building Preservation
– Offset Cost to Address ADA Access Issues
– Offset Cost of Fire Code Compliance, Sprinkler Systems, Egress Issues
– Allow Businesses to Allocate Additional Funds to Grow and Expand Business

Program Documents

Application Packet – Small Business Forgivable Loan
Summary
Application
Project Budget Sheet
Sample Agreement
Small Business Forgivable Loan Documents
Downtown Small Business Forgivable Loan District
Park Avenue Small Business Forgivable Loan District
Grandview Small Business Forgivable Loan District

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Supporting small business and downtown revitalization in Muscatine!

For more information:  http://www.muscatineiowa.gov/923/Small-Business-Forgivable-Loan-Program

Here is a summary of forgivable loans to date:

Awards to date:
Home Run Hitters, Baseball & softball pro shop addition, $ 25,000.00
Big River Guns, Gun smithing and firearm sales, $ 16,000.00
Sign Pro, Building improvements and 3D printing, $ 15,000.00
Well Fit Nutrition Bar, Nutritional drinks, product sales and oxygen bar, $ 9,800.00
Rose Bowl, Arcade and laser maze addition to bowling ally, $ 22,350.00
In Process:
Sal Vitale’s Pizzeria, New pizza and pasta restaurant $ 11,850.00
Total $ 100,000.00