City of Elgin back in business after road project - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

City of Elgin back in business after road project

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A small eastern Iowa town is back in business after its main street, Center Street, was shutdown for about 4 months during a major construction project.

Residents of Elgin admit things have been quieter than usual in town.

But this weekend was an exception, as Mayor Bill Pfister, city council members and local business owners celebrated the re-opening of Center Street.

"It's nice to see people out again," said Deanna Walvatne.

Walvatne has owned a consignment shop in Elgin for a little more than 4 years and admits her business struggled during the project downtown.

"We didn't have any sidewalks. We didn't have any steps. People couldn't drive on the street," she said.

Walvatne said she closed the store down while she and her husband went on a vacation for a couple of weeks because it wasn't worth staying open.

"We'd open up, and sometimes we only sold a few cents a day," she said.

President of the Elgin Community Betterment Club, Dirk Torkelson, said many businesses lost thousands of dollars in revenue.

"The loss of business revenue in a town this size is great. I mean, a bigger city can absorb it more, but a little town like this...We've got a lot of mom and pop type operations, and they really felt it," he said.

But Torkelson, who also owns Torkelson Motors in Elgin, said the street project was worth it.

"I think ultimately it's very much so worth it," he said.

"I mean we've got a beautiful street, street lights are nice, traffic has been back in again. It seems that all these businesses have been recovering quite nicely and doing well," he added.

City officials credit grants and bonds for funding the project, totaling just under $1 million.

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