A new group has set out to make downtown St. Ansgar a little more vibrant this summer, helping to bolster a handful of Fourth Street businesses with renovations and upgrades.

The St. Ansgar Community Chamber and the Economic Development Committee (EDC) teamed up to put together a task force titled “The Main Street Project”, and has already helped five businesses with grants. The Main Street Project reached out to every business on 4th street from Washington to Train Lane about improving the facade of their building.

The EDC offered to do a 50/50 match, up to $2,000 for improvements for any commercial building on main street—a total of $10,000. Five businesses were awarded with grants, including:

  • Thymeless Treasures renovating front porch entry $19,000.
  • Paradise Pizza replace East door at $1,800, replace awnings at $5,000-$8,000 and replace/ repaint missing bricks at an estimated cost of $2,000
  • Chuck’s Sportsman Liquor New windows in the East Building estimated $4,400
  • Farmers State Bank replacing exterior lights and shutters and painting both exterior doors estimated at less than $2,000
  • Bridal Theatre is looking to tuck & mortar brick on main street estimated at $2,000.

In addition to the business renovations, members of the group say they are looking for other ways to improve the attractiveness of Fourth Street.

The group has helped the city order new signs directing traffic on Main Street to the Schools and to Claussen Park, along with signage directing traffic to South Square.

The group is also working with the city to remove the “No U-Turn” and 2-Hr parking signs on Main Street. The group is also looking at ways to with the industrial tech class at the high school to make permanent steel banners to replace the cloth ones that hang on the light poles.

In addition, the group said it hopes to work with Parks & Rec to look at planting new or different trees along Fourth Street, since the city has had issues with them in the past.

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