Message from the Mayor

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Mayor James Olson

Winterset is a vibrant and growing community. Our population is approaching 6,000, up from the 5,200 in 2010, and we are anticipating unprecedented growth the next few years. With this growth will come new businesses, industry and residents. All this will bring many more tourists to the attractions we already have — John Wayne Museum/Birthplace, the bridges, the Madison County Historical Complex, the Iowa Quilt Museum and the downtown courthouse square, which as been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Winterset has been placed on the Scenic By-Way for the State of Iowa. With this growth and influx of tourists, there will be changes and growing pains. I want to assure you that the Winterset City Council and Winterset City Staff, Winterset Municipal Utilities Board of Trustees and WMU Staff, Madison County Economic Development Staff, and myself are working very hard to make this growth and transition as painless and unproblematic as possible.

Looking forward:

  • Extension of the LOST (local option sales tax)
  • Increased recreational opportunities for our residents — an ice skating rink was added this past year
  • Expansion of the Winterset Airport
  • Protecting the Cedar Lake Watershed and the use of Cedar Lake for recreational opportunities
  • Developing a bike trail system throughout Winterset and to Cedar Lake

Winterset is a community of volunteers. Much that has and will be done to improve our community comes from the efforts of citizens who seek no recognition or reward, just a great feeling the they left Winterset a better place than they found it.

— James C. Olson, Mayor of Winterset, April 2017