DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines City Council signed off on security funding for the Court Avenue Entertainment District at its Monday night meeting.

The city, Polk County, and the group Operation Downtown will spend a combined $280,000 on security next year. The money will pay for additional patrols, off-duty police officers, and a security camera system.

Council members say new ownership of the Court Center building at 216 Court Avenue is already making a difference.

“Working with the property owner at Court Center that cleared out that building — and that has dramatically reduced police calls and public safety calls and public safety incidents. So, Court Avenue has already been dramatically improved,” said council member Josh Mandelbaum.

Council member Connie Boesen expressed a similar view, “It’s already been cleaned up. I don’t think there’s been an incident. Once the bars were shut down things have been very good down there.”

Members of the Des Moines City Council say they are also focused on attracting new businesses to the entertainment district.