Principal Financial recently announced a $100,000 investment into downtown Ottumwa through a grant from their major gift program. The grant was provided specifically to assist with the Canteen Alley project. Canteen Alley, the alley in front of the landmark restaurant, has recently been reconstructed with new utilities, permeable pavers, lighting, landscaping and multiple pieces of artwork. Monies from the Principal grant will be used to add additional amenities to the area such as seating, lighting, landscaping, furniture and interactive art. “We know there is more to creating a great downtown than just making it attractive,” stated Fred Zesiger, Main Street Ottumwa Director. “It’s also about creating an experience and an environment that people enjoy being in.” Monies from the grant will allow for just that type of experience. “We are so excited to add these amenities to this project, exclaimed Kelly Genners, Legacy Foundation VP of Programs. “We want this area to be a place that people come to relax, socialize and, of course, enjoy a Canteen!”
The grant, which was written by Area 15 Regional Planning, was obtained through a competitive grant process and initiated by the local Principal office. Principal has been a champion of the downtown revitalization movement as witnessed by Associate Director Adam Glick. “I’m fortunate to work for a company like Principal Financial Group that strongly supports building strong communities. I do believe it’s the great organizations and people behind them that are key to making Ottumwa a better place to live, work, and play. I’m proud to be a part of that.”
Ottumwa residents can expect updates to be completed on the project in plenty of time for the Canteen Eating Contest in June. The event will also include a formal ribbon cut to the completed project and further recognition of project donors.