OPINION

News and notes from the GCC

Staff Writer
Story City Herald

—by Abby Huff, Story City GCC Executive Director

This week I want to highlight our Design Committee. This committee plays a key role in shaping the physical image of Story City. They have worked on projects like the way-finding signs you see around Story City and the facade improvements on Broad Street.

The Committee is currently working on permanent flower pots for the four corners of Broad Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. They are responsible for the changing of the flags down Broad Street and conduct the quarterly Window Display Contest. This quarter it was “How Does Your Garden Grow?” and next quarter it will be Scandinavian themed.

The Design Committee’s biggest project right now is the ongoing fundraiser for the Yulefest lights. This July they will be running a fundraiser event for the lights asking for citizens of the city to help raise money for the new lighting system by starting a month long GO FUND ME page and providing Yulefest gifts around town for people to drop money into. Part of that fundraising effort will be a downtown art installation called 3x3 by me. Further details for this will be on the way shortly.

The achievements for this committee would not have been able to be completed without the amazing and knowledgeable-worthy volunteers. Connie Phillips has been the Design committee chair since its creation in 2000. She is a partial owner of the Tin Chandelier on Broad Street and she is a City Council member. Her husband is Jim and she has two sons, five grandchildren, and two grand-dogs. Connie is the chair of the committee because she has a passion for Main Street and was involved with the restoration of the Charlson Building.

The other committee members are Mike Jensen, who retired after 42 years in Highway Design with the Iowa Department of Transportation. Mike is married to Patsy and they have two sons, four grandchildren, and one great grandchild. He has been on the committee for a long time and joined because he wanted to put his 42 years of Design Experience with the Iowa DOT to good use by being on the committee. He has enjoyed being part of the committee and working on some of their many projects. Al Holm is retired from Key Co-op and he and his wife Wanda have a dog named Scooter. Al has been on the Design committee for eight years and he joined because he thought Design would be interesting and fun, and for him it surely has been. Rhonda Ostrem is a retired business teacher and works part-time for PDG. She is married to Karl and they have three daughters and 5 2/3 grandchildren. She has been on the Design committee since 2010 and was asked to join by Connie because she wanted to get involved with Story City after always teaching outside of town. Molly Nagel is the owner/operator of Upper Story Studio. She has one sister, two dogs, and multiple fish tanks. She has been on the Design committee for three years and joined after the former GCC director asked her to get involved because she has an artistic eye. Finally, Nancy Blume is the Assistant Vice President for Reliance State Bank. She is married to Dan and has one son and two grandchildren. She has been on the Design committee for one year and joined because she has a love for Historic Preservation, but at the same time she loved the progress and change she was seeing on Broad Street.

I want to personally thank all of these members for the time and attention they put into Design. If you are reading this and feel like you would be a good fit to this committee, please email me at director@storycitygcc.com or you can call the office at 515.733.4214.