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W’bago plans to remake downtown

By Staff | Dec 11, 2011

Brad Berg

The results of the survey are in.

After tabulating responses filled out by Winnebago businesses, Brad Berg of Public Private Initiative recommends Winnebago EDA members pursue opportunities to spruce up Main Street.

Street scaping improvements discussed include sandwich boards outside of area businesses and benches located in the downtown area.

“The boards would give area businesses another opportunity to attract customers,” says City Administrator Austin Bleess. “Businesses would be able to show daily specials and sales.”

Both the sandwich boards and benches would be shaped in the Winnebago arrowhead logo.

“Sometimes it is hard to see what’s open and what’s not,” Berg says. “This would help draw more people in.”

Businesses would pay for half the cost of the signs and the EDA would pay the rest.

Berg proposes four benches to accompany signage located in the heart of Main Street.

Other suggestions made by Berg include building a spec industrial building to attract additional businesses to Winnebago.

“I talked with a potential business about moving to Winnebago, but they couldn’t because there wasn’t a building to move into,” Berg says. “A building or multiple smaller buildings would be a great way to draw in players.”

The EDA would construct the shell of a building and tailor the remainder of it to the needs of a company moving in.

Berg also recommends holding a social media class for local businesses taught by Muir Library’s Heidi Schutt.

Businesses would be informed about the potential impact Facebook and Twitter could create.

“I want to get more business owners online,” Berg says. “They plan on holding a session Dec. 20 at city hall over the lunch hour.”

Bleess says the EDA will continue to talk about options discussed at the meeting.

“We want to continue the conversation with area business leaders,” Bleess says. “We discussed a lot of good things and want to keep moving forward with promoting the community and making it look better.