Message from the Mayor

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, the Downtown Courthouse Square which has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, memorials to George Washington Carver and Georg Stout. The City, in conjunction with the downtown building owners, will finish a facade project that will only enhance an already beautiful setting. Winterset has been placed on the Scenic BY-Way for the State of Iowa. With this growth and influx of tourist, 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. I thank the citizens of Winterset for taking the sunset off the LOST (local option sales tax). This will enable the City to increase recreational opportunities for our residents such as the new ice-skating rink and the continued work on the bike trail throughout Winterset and to Cedar Lake. With RAGBRAI staying overnight in Winterset, it will give us the exposure to 20K + visitors – let’s put our best foot forward and welcome them with open arms.

Looking forward:

  • Expansion of the Winterset Airport
  • Protecting the Cedar Lake Watershed and the use of Cedar Lake for recreational opportunities.

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

— James C. Olson, Mayor of Winterset, April 2019