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Downtown Team – Year Round Commitment

May 3, 2024 | Downtown Cedar Rapids

From Left to Right: Evan McGuire, Colin Glandon, and Jennifar Bassett

As you walk or drive through Downtown Cedar Rapids, you likely take some things for granted. Sidewalks being cleared of snow. Beautiful flowers planted in the spring. Festive lights during the winter holidays. You know how much work that takes to do at your own home, imagine the work it takes to maintain these things for our entire downtown district!

The downtown team is made up of three passionate individuals. The maintenance team is made up of two dedicated people – Evan McGuire and Colin Glandon. Their time is funded through the Downtown Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District, or SSMID. Property owners agree to pay additional taxes to ensure the downtown remains clean, inviting and vibrant. The SSMID works closely with the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance to meet the business owners’ goals. Jennifar Bassett, Program Manager, who joined this partnership in January, regularly meets with downtown business and property owners, and leads the downtown maintenance workers through all seasonal changes.

“I’m so thankful to have Evan and Colin on my team,” Bassett says. “They are passionate about their jobs and are cognizant of what our mission is for downtown. A big part of my job is communicating with our partners and ensuring that they know their dollars are being spent well to fulfill the mission of the SSMID.”

Making sure the downtown stays clean is a big part of that. And that’s where the maintenance crew comes in. For Evan McGuire, every day and season is different, and that’s what he enjoys most about his job.

What’s a typical day? “In the morning, I take inventory of what has happened overnight,” Evan shares, “If it has snowed, we try to get all of that cleaned up. In the spring we start power washing and mulching our trees during our Day of Caring in mid-May. We help with staging and clean up for the Downtown Farmers Market, Market After Dark and other events that happen downtown. We start holiday lighting late fall so everything is up by Thanksgiving or the second week of December. Then it starts all over again in the spring.”

Evan has a passion for his job and it shows in the care he takes of downtown. “I’ve had a lot of jobs that were monotonous. In this job it’s spontaneous but predictable enough it’s easy to roll with it. I work with partners like the Cedar Rapids Parks Department and the City of Cedar Rapids. I love maintaining and building the relationship we have with them and other downtown businesses and look forward to what’s to come.”

The revised Downtown Vision Plan is under review by the City and other downtown stake holders with a focus on improving amenities around the river. The First on First West development includes Big Grove Brewery, Pickle Palace, and housing and has been a huge success. Stay tuned for what’s to come, but one thing that will remain constant is the unyielding commitment to making downtown the best it can be for all. We can thank the downtown team for their rock star attitude and long hours that make our city a year-round great place to be!