Council Bluffs Weighs Mid-City Neighborhood Changes

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Council Bluffs is making plans to change the look of one of its neighborhoods. City officials want the input of homeowners and business owners on how to revitalize.

The Mid-City neighborhood is located roughly under the West Bridge Viaduct, bordered by Indian Creek to the north and Fifth Avenue to the south.

A neighborhood-wide meeting to begin that discussion was scheduled Tuesday. Some residents and business owners are concerned that their ideas and their thoughts won’t carry much weight in future planning.

The train tracks are a major part of the Mid-City neighborhood. No matter what changes are made, the tracks will stay.

The Railway Inn has been right by the tracks and under the bridge for eight years. Dan Driscoll is the owner of the bar and grill and he has some ideas on how he would like to see his neighborhood change.

“What I'd like to see in the area, we got some residential down here which is multi-family, converted and it just needs to be cleaned-up and have the city promote some private business,” he said.

Bryan Maschmeier owns South Side Press. He's been there for 11 years and employs 10 people. He also has ideas on how he would like to see the neighborhood change but right now he just hopes the people will have a say in the future plans of the neighborhood.

He said, “I certainly hope that the whole process is going to be a blank page so we're all starting with a blank page. We and the city have some ideas. Maybe we need to do something different: what are your thoughts; how would you like to see this go forward; what kind of an impact does it have on you and your neighbors?”

City officials say they will listen. They also say that they have acquired a lot of property in the neighborhood but there is talk going around that the city has already made plans about the future of the neighborhood.

Driscoll said, “I’ve heard they've kind of designated this area for green space and parks and that type of thing.”

If that’s true that means Dan and Bryan might have to move their businesses out of the area and the railroad will have a new neighbor.

Tuesday’s meeting was a first in a series of planning meetings.

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