McPherson Main Street executive director, Ann Engel, met last week in Hutchinson with 22 other Kansas program directors to discuss the revitalization of the Kansas Main Street organization that was cut last September by Governor Brownback and the Department of Commerce.
During the four-hour session, attendees emerged with a plan that will give rebirth to the program by utilizing the successful foundation of the previous program, while adapting and customizing the new program to the needs of the current and future Main Street communities.
Under the guidance of Ron Kelley, a successful Hutchinson businessman and long-time Kansas Main Street supporter, the name Kansas Main Street, Inc. was retained, the domain was secured and the original website will soon be accessible as a valuable communitywide tool.
After working through the Articles of Incorporation, work began on bylaws and the possibility of establishing fees on a sliding scale based on each communities’ need and usage. Plans were discussed to utilize the talents of associations like Network Kansas, The Kansas Chapter of the American Planning Association, Kansas League of Municipalities, and National Main Street who all have offered help and support by providing continuing education and training to the new organization.
Local director, Ann Engel, said she sees the need for some type of organization, especially if McPherson wishes to meet the National Main Street criteria to be an accredited program.
“I believe in the overall program and the foundation it has provided us locally, but I am quite pleased to see that this new program will recognize the need for different levels to meet the criteria of our individual communities. Any program that does not grow and change with the communities they represent cannot succeed.”
Engel assured that “McPherson Main Street will keep its members informed as details are worked out and membership levels determined, and we will proceed in a manner that will benefit our members and our community. We are lucky to have such a viable downtown and a community that is dedicated to the success of our city.”