Meeting focuses on Main Street Connection

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Downtown Cassville Partnership (DCP) and City of Cassville officials learned more about Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) during a meeting held at the Cassville City Hall on March 29.

"This will be a good partnership," said Carolyn Bishop, DCP president. "Their goal is to help us develop a sustainable, successful revitalization program."

MMSC uses a four-step approach to develop revitalization plans. The program will provide DCP members with training on how to develop committees responsible for different activities required in the revitalization process.

"Main Street has seen a lot of communities start a plan, but without the right process that plan doesn't go anywhere," said Bishop. "This will provide the training we need to put a program in place for the long haul."

The Main Street Approach shows communities how to establish four committees to put revitalization plans into action. Those committees focus on organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring.

"The promotion committee will work on outreach and event planning," said Bishop, "and the design committee will be responsible for developing ideas for the appearance of the downtown area."

The City of Cassville organized several citizen task forces last year. The Downtown Task Force was restructured into DCP. Other established task forces include: infrastructure; young professionals; senior housing; and tourism development.

"We will be looking to the task forces that are already in place and others to be ready to become part of these four areas," said Bishop.

MMSC will work cooperatively with the DREAM Initiative program, which the city was approved for in September of 2010.

"We asked them how Main Street Connection is different from DREAM," said Bishop. "DREAM will allow the city to complete the studies in order to lay out the vision for downtown, and Main Street will help us lay out those plans.

"Main Street will teach us how to be sustainable by setting up the services we need to move forward," said Bishop. "Through this program we will have the tools and connections in place to move our visions forward."

In addition to helping DCP put DREAM ideas in place, MMSC will help the local organization obtain information about grant opportunities.

"They have already told us about a Missouri Arts Council Grant that is available," said Bishop. "It could provide around $5,000 for artwork in the community each year over the next three years. This could fund murals or other art-related projects."

The program will also offer assistance as DCP becomes established as a non-for-profit entity.

"Their presentation was well organized and well laid out," said Bishop. "They did a fantastic job of listening to where we are.

"Main Street Connection has been in existence for 35 years," said Bishop. "We are now part of 144 Main Street communities in Missouri and part of a program that is a much bigger entity nationwide."

MMSC focuses on business growth and historical development.

"As we move forward, we will be looking for more people to get involved in this process," said Bishop. "Main Street will help us look to the people who have served on task forces previously, determine who we need to recruit and decide how we can bring the right people together."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: