Muscatine Applying For Grant To Move Some Downtown Electrical Wi - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Muscatine Applying For Grant To Move Some Downtown Electrical Wires

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Muscatine wants to improve the backside of several of it's downtown buildings.

The city is going after a 500-thousand dollar grant to help move the overhead electrical wires.

Opening up the sight lines to passing cars and allowing property owners to repair 150 year old brick walls.

The project would impact about 30 building in a three block long area right off Mississippi Avenue.

Many of the buildings have rear facing decks in the alleyways that offer a Mississippi River view.

That view is currently blocked by utility wires, lending to a vibe of decay felt by residents and visitors alike.

City Planning Coordinator Jim Rudisill says, "The heritage, the fact that these buildings have stood here for 150 years, they're a part of our heritage, they're a part of our community."

This historic part of Muscatine suffers from a modern day eyesore. Jumbles of utility wires connecting the 20th century infrastructure to the 19th century buildings. It's Rudisill's job to document the issues those wires have caused.

"Got a lot of mortar that's deteriorated, brick has broken off, places where they've attached utility service lines," says Rudisill.

His survey will be part of the application for a grant to open up the view, and repair those walls. A move property owners agree with.

"Very unique back ends of buildings with decks, overview of the river, we could really make something out of that," says property owner Tom Meeker.

He says there's a lot of potential to this project. River view apartments are in high demand and hidden wires won't intimidate visitors.

"That is an eyesore, we've been doing great things downtown, everybody has, and the City's really helping it along the way," says Meeker.

The City will face stiff competition for the money from across the state. It expects nine other cities to apply for the same pool of money. They're staying positive though.

"We have a chance here to have a great downtown, and I think we're really moving toward that," says Meeker.

The City has until the end of the month to submit its grant application.

If Muscatine wins the 500-thousand dollars it's applying for, the City would have a year and a half to complete the utility work.

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