Outdoor dining options were set to be in place at a few area restaurants July 8 as part of a city pilot program.

The Anamosa City Council voted June 22 to approve five concrete parklets, courtesy of Weber Stone Company, to block off five parking spots downtown for local businesses. The move is an idea brainstormed by the Downtown Taskforce, formed in the aftermath as part of the downtown assessment conducted last year.

“It’s an opportunity for people to engage with our businesses in a safe manner,” City Administrator Jacob Sheridan said.

Jones County Economic Development Executive Director Derek Lumsden, who sits on the taskforce, said one of the things the taskforce wanted to focus on was getting more activity outside.

“The nice thing about parklets, or things like this, it brings activity outside. It lets people see that those places are open,” he said. “All the towns that use them, swear by them.”

Mayor Rod Smith said such a move would “create talk” around downtown businesses and get some foot traffic.

Anamosa Area Chamber of Commerce Director LeeAnna Boone said businesses were interested in the idea, having wanted something like it for a while, and five restaurants were interested: Anamosa Bowling Alley, Tucker’s Tavern, Tyler & Downings Eatery, Los Tres Agaves and Grounds & Goodies. With the interested restaurants, three of the parklets could be placed on side streets.

The businesses themselves would be responsible for furnishing their own parklet.

Concerned with taking up too many parking spots on Main Street, in voicing their approval, the council made the motion to approve a limit of five parklets, with no more than two of them placed on Main Street.

The parklets will be removed by Oct. 15.

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