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FORT DODGE, Iowa  —  After 17 years out of the Main Street Iowa program, Fort Dodge is once again involved.

Kris Patrick was named the new Executive Director of the Fort Dodge Main Street Office.

“Locally it’s called Little Chicago because that was the focus when it was built, was to resemble Chicago,” said Patrick. “I think we still have a lot of their integrity. Most of our buildings are still standing, so we’re going to be working on trying to maintain those buildings.”

Patrick is a native of Des Moines. She ran a business and worked as the Main Street Director in Chariton. She assumed her new job in Fort Dodge on December 4th.

“I was a Main Street Executive Director, we ended up with $10.6 million private investment in the downtown district,” said Patrick. “We also did a 15-building façade rehabilitation project.”

One issue Main Street will be involved with is parking meters downtown. Parts of Central Avenue and other nearby areas have meters, while there are none on the ends of Central.

“I think if we’re going to have parking meters downtown, they need to be evenly spaced so everybody has parking meters or no one has parking meters,” said Patrick. “Right now we are working on a project for a grant application to do what’s called a Build a Better Block, so we’ll be able to showcase the certain block and what we can put in those shops and what it would look like with outdoor seating and trees along the street.”