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2023 SSMID Petition 

Help keep Downtown Des Moines (DSM) clean, safe, welcoming and vibrant.

Operation Downtown is a self-supported municipal improvement district (SSMID) established in 1998. Its work has not only enhanced Downtown DSM but has raised the standard of what a world-class city should look like. 

Downtown DSM continues to experience strong momentum with major projects, world-class amenities, must-attend events and much more. 

You can support the continuation of this work by signing the renewal petition by APRIL 1, 2023. 

How to Sign the Petition

  1. Print the petition. (Only page number four needs completed, signed and submitted.)
  2. Complete with property address and signature.
  3. Mail or deliver to:

Operation Downtown
700 Locust St., Ste. 100
Des Moines, IA 50309

Or scan and send to: acrowell@downtownDSMUSA.com

If you have questions, please contact Amy Crowell, Downtown Program Manager at acrowell@downtownDSMUSA.com or call (515) 286-4946

Operation Downtown Boundaries

Click the map to download.

Why Sign and Support Operation Downtown? 

The work of Operation Downtown is made possible by the investment and support of Downtown property-owners.

Your investment supports:  


Operation Downtown Ambassadors are the eyes and ears on the street. They connect people to social services, reduce panhandling and provide escorts for employees and visitors on request, as well as hire off-duty officers to assist with intervention and prevention of crime. 

Clean Services 

Ambassadors maintain and regularly empty more than 250 trash receptacles, pressure wash sidewalks, control litter, clean up graffiti, pick up and recycle cigarette butts and more. They also provide and maintain public space recycling receptacles, dog waste bag dispensers and ash urns. 

Park/Streetscape Maintenance 

Operation Downtown manages a unique collaboration between the public and private sectors to provide cooperative maintenance of Downtown public parks and other public spaces, including Western Gateway and Principal Riverwalk. 

Special Projects 

Operation Downtown works on special projects to enhance the vibrancy of Downtown including public art installations, activations and other creative problem-solving projects.  


What is a SSMID? 

A Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) is a defined area within which businesses pay an additional fee to fund improvements and enhanced services within the district’s boundaries. The services SSMIDs provide are supplemental to those already provided by the municipality. The Downtown Des Moines SSMID is also known as Operation Downtown. 

How is Operation Downtown funded? 

Operation Downtown, Downtown DSM's SSMID, is primarily funded by Downtown DSM commercial property owners through a fee structure based on assessed value. Local hospitals also voluntarily contribute to the budget. Operation Downtown is managed by the Greater Des Moines Partnership and Operation Downtown Board of Directors, who represent the various geographic areas and property sizes/values Downtown. 

How does Operation Downtown work with the City of Des Moines? 

Operation Downtown is not affiliated with the City of Des Moines, but works closely with municipal employees to provide an extra level of service that makes Downtown a desirable place. It is a collaboration that enriches and presents Downtown Des Moines in the best possible way. 

Who governs Operation Downtown / How are decision made? 

Operation Downtown is a business-led 501(c)6 non-profit organization that was developed in 1998 by business leaders in an effort to provide enhanced services not provided by the City of Des Moines. The Operation Downtown Board of Directors consists of more than 30 prominent members of the Des Moines community who represent various geographical areas and property sizes/values Downtown. The OD Board oversees budget and overall programming decisions. 

  • One Director for every $50 million in taxable value for any property or property group valued at greater than $50 million 
  • One Director for any property or property group valued at greater than $15 million, but $50 million or less 
  • Four Directors representing property valued at greater than $5 million, but $15 million or less 
  • Four Directors representing property valued at $5 million or less 
  • One Director representing leasehold tenants of property of at least 25,000 square feet 
  • Two Directors representing leasehold tenants of property of less than 25,000 square feet 
  • Non-profit organization voluntarily donating  
  • One Ward Councilperson or other designated City representative (non-voting) 
  • One City Manager or designated representative (non-voting) 
  • One representative from Polk County (non-voting)  

What areas are covered by Operation Downtown? 

Our boundary covers over 500 square blocks, serviced by ambassadors seven days a week. See map above for Operation Downtown boundary areas.