There’s always something happening on Platteville Main Street.

Jun 4, 2013

VOTE FOR PLATTEVILLE!!  The City of Platteville is the ONLY nominated city in the State of Wisconsin this year for the All-American City Competition.  Let's all work together to bring success to Wisconsin.

Our video for the All-America City awards is now live at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AW403-_y1I [1]. Per the All America City directions, The winner of the contest will be the community that has the largest number of votes. The way to vote is to view the video on You Tube and click on the "like" button. Voters can use your original You Tube link or the You Tube links on our channel.

May 14, 2013
This Friday, May 17th, the Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee is unveiling four new additions to Main Street: three artistic bike racks and the Second Street Arch, all built by local artists and all adding to the cultural heritage of downtown.  The unveiling, which begins at 5pm at Driftless Market, 95 W Main St, will feature short introductions to each of the artists and to the partners who made the projects possible.  Artists include the Fields Family of Platteville, WI; Baker Iron Works of Platteville, WI; Rich Fizzell of Brooklyn, WI; and the Schwert Family of Gays Mills, WI.  Artists will be present to answer questions.
Following the Unveiling Ceremony, at 6pm, a 3.4 mile family bike ride will be hosted by Momentum Bikes, 25 W Main St, and at 6:45 -8:30pm a brat grill out (and BYOB) at City Park will feature live music by Grandpa's Headache ($2 brats, all profits will be donated to improve the City Trail).  
A growing community, Platteville has recently seen an increase in bicycles throughout town.  These bike racks help support our bicycling community, keep cars off the road, and bring art to our downtown.  The bicycle racks were made possible through a generous grant from the Plattteville Community Fund.  This event is open to the public and all are invited to attend.
Questions or inquiries may be directed to Amy Seeboth, Platteville Main Street Committee Member, (608) 778-0873 amy.seeboth@gmail.com
See photographs of our new art here: http://www.facebook.com/events/166838593479297/
Apr 30, 2013

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement hosted the third annual Business Plan Competition at the Markee Pioneer Student Center April 17.

Participants submitted written business plans and had 10 minutes to present their business plans to a panel of three judges. The judges were Les Hollingsworth, UW-Platteville assistant marketing professor; Jack Luedtke, director of Platteville’s Main Street Program; and Craig Sauey, director of The Nordic Group.
Winners of UW-Platteville's third annual Business Plan Competition

Jordan Riemer, from Brodhead, Wis., received first place and was awarded $1,000 for his Grower’s Advantage, LLC business plan.  Riemer also received a professional consultation package sponsored by Platteville’s Main Street Program. The package includes four one-hour consultation sessions with Bob Stauffacher, executive vice president of American Bank of Platteville; Brock Waterman, owner of Fundunity, LLC; Terry Vaassen, CPA and PFS at Vaassen, Pluemer Certified Public Accountants; and Mike Olds, attorney at Kopp McKichan, LLP.

Tom Aronson, from Clinton, Iowa, received second place and was awarded $750 for his Droptine Apparel business plan. Becky Ambrosy, from Sherrill, Iowa, received third place and was awarded $500 for her Platteville Massage Therapy, LLC business plan.

Other participants were Joshua Inglett, from Portage, Wis., with Inglett Enterprises; Joshua Joseph, from Viola, Wis., with Richland Maple Syrup; and Jacob Luginbuhl, from Verona, Wis., with Hometown Painting Services, LLC. Each received $250 for their presentations.      

The Business Plan Competition was sponsored by the Platteville Main Street Program, W.R. and Floy A. Sauey Family Foundation, Wisconsin Bank and Trust of Platteville, and Robert Hoffland, of Montgomery, Texas.
Contact: Kathy Neumeister, UW-Platteville Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement, (608) 342-6020, neumeisterk@uwplatt.edu

Formatted by: Nicole Smith, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, smithnico@uwplatt.edu

Apr 22, 2013

You’re Invited! We hope that you will be able to attend the Unveiling Ceremony Creative Bike Rack winners, along with the Metal Arch spanning Historic 2nd Street, on Friday, May 17th at 5pm on Main Street. See complete details below.

Thanks to the creative designs of several local and regional artists and metal workers, Platteville’s Main Street will soon be home to three unique bike racks.  The creative designs were submitted in response to a competition, which was organized and managed by the Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee and generously funded by a grant from the Platteville Community Fund.  This is the result of the Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee’s Creative Bike Rack Design Competition, in which community members and metal workers were invited to submit design proposals for functional public art bike racks to enhance the Main Street district.

Creative Bike Rack and 2nd Street Arch Unveiling Ceremony: Friday, May 17th

5:00 – 6:00 pm we meet in front of Driftless Market (95 West Main Street) and will walk down Main Street spending approx. 10 minutes at each rack and the 2nd Street Arch to recognize the artists, hand out award check, and photograph the artist with their rack. **Be prepared to make a brief statement about the inspiration for your design.

6:00 – 6:30 pm interested riders will meet in front of Momentum Bikes to set off on a 30 minute community / family ride. (this will be the location of the last rack to be recognized).

6:45 @ City Park – Join us for a celebration with food and music in the Platteville City Park – just off of Main Street near the Driftless Market where we started. Music will be provided by Grandpa's Headache -  http://www.facebook.com/GrandpasHeadache?fref=ts

Apr 11, 2013

Editor, Platteville Journal

Platteville is one of 20 finalists in the 2013 All-America City Awards.

The National Civic League has invited 20 communities, including representatives from Platteville and Dubuque, to the annual All-America City Awards competition in Denver June 14–16.

The other finalists are Birmingham, Ala.; Downey, Calif.; Brush, Colorado Springs and Montrose, Colo.; Fort Lauderdale, Miami Lakes and Sarasota County, Fla.; Peoria, Ill.; Owensboro, Ky.; Natchitoches, La.; Canton, N.Y.; Dunn, Garner and Thomasville, N.C.; Folly Beach, S.C.; The Colony, Texas; and Norfolk, Va.

Platteville is the only Wisconsin city to reach the 2013 finals. Dubuque was named an All-America City in 2007 and 2012.

This year, the program is spotlighting community-wide initiatives that honor and benefit veterans and military families. Next year, the 65th anniversary of the program, the focus will be on communities that foster healthier lifestyles for their residents.

“All-America Cities set an example and a standard of excellence for local problem-solvers throughout the country,” said NCL President Gloria Rubio-Cortes. “This is an award that gives us hope, ideas and inspiration as we look for ways to address the difficult challenges we face as communities and as a nation.”

A committee composed of Kathy Kopp, executive director of the Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce; Jack Luedtke, executive director of the Platteville Main Street Program; Melissa Pahl, executive director of the Platteville Area Industrial Development Corp.; Ed White, executive director of the Platteville Business Incubator, Inc.; Rose Smyrski, Special Assistant to the Chancellor at UW–Platteville; City Manager Larry Bierke; and Angie Donovan, Communications Specialist for the City of Platteville, assembled the applications and determined which three projects best exemplified Platteville.

“We are honored to be a finalist community for this award,” said Bierke. “Platteville should be proud of all the accomplishments we have, as it was a challenge to narrow down our top three projects. All the people here and all the things we do are what makes our community great.”

The projects submitted for the awards were the Veterans Honor Roll in City Park, entrepreneurship efforts in the community, and eco-municipality efforts.

All-America City Awards recognize local action through community-based problem-solving and civic engagement efforts involving the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The designation gives the winning communities “bragging rights” than can help them recruit new businesses, increase jobs and obtain grants for community betterment projects in the future.

“AAC is more than an awards program,” said NCL Interim Chair Liz Hollander. “It gives communities a unique opportunity to celebrate their successes, but also to take a clear-eyed look at their civic capacities.”

Once described by pollster George Gallup as a “Nobel Prize” for civic accomplishment, the awards have been given to more than 600 communities since its inception in 1949. Some have won it as many as five and six times. Not just cities, but neighborhoods, towns, counties and metropolitan regions can apply for the prestigious award.

The 2012 All-America Cities are San Francisco; Tahoe/Truckee, Calif.; the Quad Cities; Dubuque; Marshalltown, Iowa; Louisville; Baltimore; Pittsfield and Springfield, Mass.; Southern Pines, N.C.; Providence, R.I.; San Antonio; Roanoke, Va.; and Seattle and South King County cities, Wash.

Previous All-America Cities in Wisconsin include Green Bay in 1964, La Crosse in 1965, Beloit in 1971, Madison in 1977 and 1978, Wausau in 1983 and 1984, Greater Green Bay in 1999, and Greater Racine in 2003.

To qualify for AAC, participants fill out applications listing three examples of successful community change. Applicants are encouraged to use the National Civic League’s “Civic Index,” a widely used tool for assessing community strengths and weaknesses. In their applications, they describe their capacities for civic engagement, collaboration; inclusiveness and innovation.

NCL will produce a report based on the finalists’ projects to inform communities seeking to improve their current initiatives or establish new ones benefiting veterans and military families.  

Sponsors and partners of the 2013 All-America City Award include The Piton Foundation, Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation, PCL Construction Enterprises, Southwest Airlines, Greenberg Traurig, Merrick & Co., City of Aurora, Colo., BBVA Compass, City of Dublin, Calif., El Pomar Foundation, FirstBank, City of Lakewood, Colo., Alameda Gateway, RubinBrown, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. The Kettering Foundation is a research partner. The Colorado National Guard is a partner.

Apr 4, 2013

On Monday, April 1st, a group of 19 Platteville Main Street® merchants made a bus trip to Prairie du Chien to attend a workshop presented by award-winning designer, Lyn Falk.  Lyn and her talented team of professionals have spent over 25 years studying the subtleties of consumer behavior and applying a proven holistic philosophy to retail store design.  They help merchants create beautiful, productive, and profitable environments in their stores where customers feel welcome, and spend both more time and more money when they shop.

Successful businesses have an image or signature look that tells a “story”.  When stores have remodeled using the principles of design, appealing to the six senses, they realized an increase in traffic and sales of 25% or more.

Besides the workshop on Monday night, Ms. Falk was in Platteville on April 4th for 1-on-1 visits with several of the stores who attended the workshop.

Ms. Falk’s workshop and 1-on-1 visits were sponsored, at no cost to our merchants, by the Wisconsin Main Street® Program and coordinated by the Platteville Main Street® Program.

Apr 4, 2013

Alyssa Bloechl, Editor in Chief, UW Exponent

Downtown Platteville attracts residents and students from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with small shops, unique attractions and a charming historical atmosphere.  A bike store, movie theater, hair salons and places to grab a bite to eat draw people to the pavement on Main Street.  There is more to the downtown area than the local shops, and a non-profit organization which advocates for its improvement.

The Main Street Program is what keeps the business atmosphere in Platteville so vibrant.  Established in July of 1999, the Main Street Program has been working as an independent non-profit organization to assist and preserve the established quality of the area as well as introduce new ideals of business to downtown.  The program is nationally accredited through the National Historic Trust and is separate from the City of Platteville.

One hundred and seventeen businesses are part of the Main Street Program which decides how the buildings themselves are filled and how improvements are made. Executive Director of the Main Street Program Jack Luedtke said that the Program ensures the storefronts are full and inviting to keep businesses running in downtown Platteville.

“Our mission is to help the new businesses and entrepreneurs that want to move into the downtown area,” Luedtke said. “The city does not own any property or business on Main Street.”

Along with collecting new running businesses, the Main Street Program works with grant programs to help improve the look of the businesses in Platteville. Currently, there is a Curb Appeal matching grant available for use. If a business were to improve the front of their buildings, a grant would match the funds the business used to make the repairs.

The city accepted a plan in January of 2011, which allows the Main Street Program to use a strategic plan for redevelopment purposes of current businesses as well as locate viable tenants for empty locations.

Second Street has seen improvements including new sidewalks and recycling bins. Other improvements to 2nd Street include the rebuilding of Chicago’s Best, the building of a new restaurant, Gina’s Bar and Restaurant and soon there will be a new archway distinguishing the 2nd Street district.

Newer business additions that the Main Street Program helped bring in and establish into the downtown area include Jimmy John’s, MVP Sports Cuts, Noodle House, Etc., Miner’s Sports Bistro and Kassie’s Critters.

Kassie Burbach, certified veterinary technician, recently opened Kassie’s Critters pet shop on Main Street next to Jimmy John’s. Burbach offers small animals to buy including guinea pigs, rabbits, mice, fish and more. She also sells pet supplies, treats and tools. She will have a grooming addition with a certified groomer ready for use in late April.

“I am always looking for suggestions for what people would like to have available in the store,” Burbach said. “ I wanted it to be a place that I would like to shop.”

Burbach said that she wanted to run a business on Main Street in Platteville because it was close to campus and people like to look in the stores on Main.

Deshira Zeneli and her husband Tony opened the Miner’s Sports Bistro on the corner of 2nd and Main St. The couple is local to Madison where they own a Subway, but they came here because they heard about the growing campus.

“We thought it was a shame this location was empty,” said Deshira Zeneli. “This town is full of history and originality. We even have pictures of historical Platteville featured in the restaurant.”

The Main Street Program works to improve all aspects of the downtown area, but it has had to deal with some challenges when it comes to the rowdy atmosphere around 2nd Street bar time.

“It has been an issue in Platteville for a long time,” Luedke said. “Whether you see it as a positive or negative is up to individuals. The positive effect of student volunteers to Main Street projects and employment really pushes aside the minority of negative complaints that are stated.”

The Main Street area businesses are beneficial to students in ways other than volunteering, shopping and fun. Many UW-Platteville students are employed at the various businesses as either general employees or as interns. Los Amigo’s Restaurant, Miner’s Sports Bistro, Driftless Market and Momentum Bikes are just a few examples of the different businesses that take on student employment.

“We see the University as being our westward anchor to Main Street and east towards the Mining Museum,” Luedke said. “Our goal is to continually build that relationship.”

Mar 13, 2013

Three unique designs will be installed on Main Street for Bike to Work Week this spring.

Thanks to the creative designs of several local community members, artists, and metal workers, Platteville’s Main Street will soon be home to three unique bike racks.  The creative designs were submitted in response to the Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee’s Creative Bike Rack Design Competition.  For this competition, community members and metal workers were invited to submit design proposals for functional public art bike racks to enhance the Main Street district.

This project was made available from the Platteville Community Fund’s Robert and Marian Graham Community Fund.  The Robert and Marian Graham Endowment Fund is a resource for area non-profit organizations whose programs and services are working for the betterment of our communities.  Grants from the Platteville Community Fund have supported the arts, education, environment, health and human services and historical preservation.

The competition winners are:

  • Rich Fizzell with Prairie Art Metal of Brooklyn, WI.  Rich’s design of an old-style high-wheeler bicycle will contribute to downtown Platteville’s historic character.
  • The Kristina, Paul, Michael, and Emily Fields family and Jeff Baker of Baker Ironworks of Platteville, WI.  The Fields-Baker Ironworks team’s collaborative design features a modern bicycle with a trailer rack.  This design celebrates Platteville as a bike-friendly, family-friendly community.
  • The John, Lois, Sandi, and Sheri Schwert family team of Gays Mills, WITeam Schwert’s stylized design of mature ears of corn and young plant sprouts recognizes the importance of agriculture in the Platteville area.

The Platteville Creative Bike Rack Design Competition Committee was very impressed by the quality and variety of design submissions.  “The creative bike rack competition is a great opportunity to add art work to the down town area.  Hopefully with additional funding we can have other artistic designs produced and displayed down town,” said Tim Ingram, owner of Momentum Bikes on Main Street.  Specific locations for the racks are yet to be determined.  However, the bike racks will be located in highly visible areas along Main Street.  These racks will increase available bike parking on Main Street, helping to implement goals articulated in the 2010 Platteville Downtown Revitalization Plan.  Jack Luedtke, executive director of the Platteville Main Street Program, noted “These functional pieces of art along Main Street are a significant part of our effort to enhance the community experience in Downtown Platteville for not only our citizens but also for visitors to the City.  The historic murals, the veteran's memorial in City Park, and now the art objects/bike racks, give people a reason to spend more time in historic Downtown Platteville.” 

Since August 2012, the Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee has organized recycling at Dairy Days, presented a community film series at the Avalon Cinemas, and hosted the Creative Bike Rack Competition.  Working in partnership with the Platteville Dairy Days committee, L & M Corrugated Containers of Platteville, and Faherty Recycling, committee members organized and emptied recycling containers throughout Dairy Days, and diverted approximately 33 percent of the waste stream, according to Ed Faherty of Faherty, Inc.  The Sustainability Committee collaborated with the Platteville Public Library, State Theaters, and Faherty, Inc. to present three free showings of the movie Bag It: Is your life too Plastic? Approximately 50 people attended the three different showings, where Ed Faherty answered questions about recycling practices.

The Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 6pm at Driftless Market and is open to everyone interested in advancing sustainability principles in Platteville.  For more information about the Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee, please contact Heidi Dyas‐McBeth at Heidi@driftlessmarket.com or (608) 348-2696.

Jan 10, 2013

The Platteville Main Street program hosted its fourth annual Sweet Treats on Main event on October 27. Thirty-nine merchants participated and offered candy for the kids and discounts for adults. “We’re really impressed with the turn-out this year. It just keeps getting bigger every year,” commented Jack Luedtke, Executive Director of the Main Street program. This year, Main Street was packed with an estimated crowd of 350 people in attendance. Goofy, Tigger, and several other lovable children’s characters also made an appearance.

Jan 10, 2013

The Platteville Main Street Program is seeking design proposals for functional public art bike racks to be located throughout the Main Street District. Winning bike racks will be both functional and creative, enhancing the historic cultural persona of Main Street. Specifically, the proposals should strive to demonstrate the spirit of Creative Placemaking: “Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures, and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.”

There is a total award of $750 ($500 prize and $250 for materials and bike rack fabrication). Two designs will be selected and awarded. The selected artists and/or artist teams will receive $250 for materials and fabrication and $500 upon completion of the rack. Awarded proposals will be responsible for the fabrication of the final product.

NOTE: Selected artists are permitted to work with outside contractors to fabricate the actual work of art.  This must be specified in application and the contractor should be included in the artist team. The artist/design team is not responsible for installation of the rack.

Eligibility: Open to all. Students are encouraged to participate.

Deadline: Proposals are due January 30, 2013

For further information, please download the Request for Proposal and Application.