WIUM Tristates Public Radio

IA Gov: Downtown/Preservation Key

Aug 22, 2013

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says downtown development and historic preservation will play key roles in his state's economic future.

It was a packed house for the opening of the Preserve Iowa Summit in Burlington's Capitol Theater.

He says that actually starts with action taken by the Iowa Legislature during its most recent session in Des Moines. 

Branstad says the decision by lawmakers to gradually reduce commercial property tax rates can only help spur downtown development.

"As we see the taxes go down in these commercial buildings, more investments and more businesses will want to locate in our historic downtown areas," says Branstad.

Branstad says as these areas expand and improve, though historic preservation, the quality of life is enhanced.

He says that is especially important in economic development, as potential businesses and industries judge quality of life when deciding whether to relocate to or expand in Iowa.

Branstad says Main Street Iowa has played a critical role, on both fronts, as it has helped secure more than $1-billion in private investment over the last 25+ years.

The Governor made his comments after joining Burlington Mayor Jim Davidson and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds in opening the 1st annual Preserve Iowa Summit, which runs through Saturday in downtown Burlington.