DES MOINES, Iowa — When the old Warren County Courthouse was torn down, it left big hole in the middle of Indianola’s town square. Without the old building, people began to look at the square itself.
“Once you take away all the old trees that we had and the building itself, it’s pretty barren. We really want to soften that up,” said City Councilman John Parker.
Parker says he is excited to start working on a downtown beautification project, and residents agree.
“It’s a lot more concrete. There was a nice kind of green area in the courthouse, so it would be nice to have some green back there because it kind of buffered all the buildings and the concrete,” said resident Sean Herrick.
On Monday, the city council will look to approve plans to add more green space, benches and two-way roads throughout the square.
“If you look at what’s going on in and around the Des Moines metro area, Valley Junction did this a number of years ago, East Village has done the same thing. It makes it more inviting for people to come, and we want to make this the destination point. We’ve got a new brewery opening up, we’ve got multiple restaurants, and we want people to come in and spend some time in Indianola,” said Parker.
The next step will be to work through the plans and find out how much it will cost to make it a reality. Parker says while it will help everyday foot traffic for businesses, it will also help attract people to some of Indianola’s signature events.
“When you have events like the National Balloon Classic, or we have a bike night once a month every month of the summer where we get 5,000 to 10,000 people come down. Those major events that come on the square, we really need a revitalized square to make it more fun and attractive for those people to come,” said Parker.
Residents say an updated square will not only help bring more people to town, but also help make things nicer for those who have put down roots in Indianola.
“When you have a place that looks pleasant to hang out in, it makes you more comfortable, makes you feel a little bit better about your town and knowing people want to come there,” said Herrick.
Parker says they will wait to see the price tag before deciding how to pay for it but says that a bond vote is not out of the question.