Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
The Mt. Pleasant Main Street office has moved to a new location.
The office was moved from the Mt. Pleasant Chamber of Commerce building to the Union Block building on the north side of the square.
Director Lisa Oetken said a spot opened up, and she jumped on it.
"We own the Union Block building, and we need to manage it better than we have," Oetken said. "It's getting more popular for rentals on the third floor. I've been spending a lot of time in the building, and we had a space become available, so we decided now would be the time for us to move."
Another reason for the move was to single out Main Street, which is not part of the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber.
"We want to get more visibility for Main Street," Oetken said. "So people know who we are and what we are. A misconception of many people in Mt. Pleasant and the surrounding area is that they think we're part of the chamber, we're part of the Chamber Alliance, but we are not an employee of the chamber.
The moving process has been smooth so far.
"It's actually been pretty smoothly," Oetken said. "We were able to get everything moved over in a couple of days and get things put away. Not everything's put away. We're getting there. It was a very smooth move."
Mt. Pleasant became a Main Street community in 2002. It's a long process to become a Main Street town.
According to Oetken, there are only 54 Main Street towns in Iowa.
Oetken is the fourth director of the program, and she will have been the director for 17 years at the end of October. She is third in seniority in the state.
She is a certified Main Street manager, which required her to undergo additional training for two weeks in Washington, D.C.
For Oetken, her favorite part of the job is working with small businesses.
"My favorite part of my job is probably the retail part and helping small businesses," she said. "I love small businesses. I used to be a small-business owner. My background is in retail. I worked retail most of my life. I truly love working and collaborating with small businesses.“