- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

IOWA FALLS, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa Falls senior care facility is issuing money to its employees to use at other downtown businesses to help them during a disruptive streetscape project.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (https://bit.ly/1McAqNW ) reports Scenic Living Communities, a senior care facility, has issued $5,000 in “downtown dollars” to 137 employees to shop at any of 22 participating retail shops and restaurants in the heart of a major infrastructure project in the business district.

According to Lora Juhl, executive director of Scenic Living Communities, said the facility wanted to be supportive of its business partners in need.

The project, which began in April, has caused detours and kept potential customers away from some businesses because some storefronts are in the middle of the construction zone. The project involves replacing century-old sewer, water and power lines, as well as sidewalks and street lighting fixtures.

Director of the Iowa Falls Chamber of Commerce Diana Thies says, “You could get into the businesses through the back door, but it’s challenging for parking and older people to get to the stores.”

Employees can use the money until Nov. 7. The care facility will back every “downtown dollar” spent with real U.S. currency. Each employee has received 10 “downtown dollars,” plus five for each year they have been employed at the facility.

One clothing store owner, Sherri Windecker, said her store has been affected by the construction, but she is thrilled by what the care facility is doing.

Windecker says, “I thought it was a very nice gesture, because through our whole streetscape this summer, obviously, we’ve struggled to get through it.”

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, https://www.wcfcourier.com

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