City of Harlan Awarded All-Star Community

Plaza Development Invests in the Future

    HARLAN – The City of Harlan learned this week it is named an All-Star Community Award winner by the Iowa League of Cities for its Harlan Plaza Development in south Harlan that includes Bomgaars, The Buck Snort Restaurant, The Baymont Inn and Harlan Dental.
    In a Zoom meeting announcement Wednesday, Sept. 9, officials with the League of Cities congratulated Harlan as one of four cities to be honored in 2020.
    On behalf of the Iowa League of Cities, “we’re so happy you have received this award,” said Tom Lazio, president of the executive board of the League.  The project in Harlan is exceptional, he said.  
    “It’s a good example of the public-private partnership of many people coming together and doing what’s right for the city and for the area.
    According to the Iowa League of Cities, the All-Star Community Awards program is designed to acknowledge and encourage excellence in local government.  The program allows cities to be recognized for their innovative and superior efforts, such as Harlan’s plaza development.
    The program also provides a means to share public service ideas, and to demonstrate the progressive, caring and committed to their communities nature of the cities that are honored.
    The Harlan Plaza Development sits on the southwest corner of Harlan, serving as a gateway into the community along Highway 59 from the south.  The site remained undeveloped for years.  City leaders decided to invest in the necessary infrastructure needed to make the property viable for business.
    The six-acre property was made more suitable for retail with the removal of an earthen berm, which allowed for an entrance into the plaza off of the highway.  A storm sewer management plan was developed.  Bomgaars moved from its previous location on Chatburn Ave. to the new plaza, constructing a new, larger store to serve the Shelby County area.
    The Buck Snort Restaurant, a regional chain, was the next to come aboard along with Harlan Dental.  They joined Baymont Inn hotel, which was already located on the northwest corner of the area.


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