When Connie Phillips flips the switch to turn on Story City’s downtown lights during Friday evening’s Yulefest event, it will celebrate a project that has been years in the making.
This summer, the Story City Greater Chamber Connection received a $75,000 grant from the Story County Board of Supervisors, which, in part, covered the cost of the new lighting.
The grant required a 25 percent match of the $100,000 project. The GCC raised the other $25,000 in a variety of ways, including a $9,000 donated by the city of Story City, and the GCC raised $10,000 through donations and events for the past couple years.
The GCC Design Committee, of which Phillips is a key member, has been working to get new downtown lights since 2014.
“Connie Phillips was the one who has been leading this project,” said Abby Huff, executive director of the GCC. “Pete Tekippe has also been instrumental to get new lights.”
Close to half of the funds are going to the cost of the lights, Huff said. The other half is divided between new boulevard signs, bike racks, trash receptacles, benches, and historical plaques that will offer details about historical buildings downtown.
“We used to have lighting in downtown Story City, but it’s been about 10 years since we had it,” Huff said. “We’re using the same product that Ames used in their downtown.”
The lighting will offer a variety of colors.
“The lights will be used – not just during Yulefest – they’ll be used year round,” Huff said. “And when you’re downtown after dark, you’ll just feel more welcome.”
“We’ve got great shopping, two great restaurants. You can basically come downtown and find anything you need,” she said.