Main Street group forms committees

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A total of 16 Cassville community members attended a Cassville Main Street Association meeting held at the Cassville United Methodist Church on June 28. Those in attendance discussed goals for downtown revitalization.

Carolyn Bishop, Cassville Main Street Association, opened the meeting with information on Missouri Main Street Connection, which is assisting the local group in developing a sustainable revitalization program.

"They provide a solid structure that is consistently in place with a format to follow," said Bishop. "This system helps us develop objectives for five years, 10 years and 20 years down the road."

According to Bishop, Missouri Main Street Connection assists local groups in the same way that the DREAM Initiative assists municipalities.

"DREAM will provide the broader vision of where we need to be and what our objectives should be for 15 to 20 years in the future," said Bishop. "I want that vision to become a reality."

The Cassville Main Street Association has applied for non-profit status. Dan Angel said that this should be completed within the next three months.

"We want you to look at what makes Cassville unique," said Bishop. "We want to hear what makes Cassville bigger and better. What is Cassville's history, and what do we want to preserve? What businesses do we need here?

"We will be developing a work plan in conjunction with your committees," added Bishop.

Those attending the meeting formed four committees based on the Main Street Program's Four Point Approach. The four committees were economic restructuring, design, promotion and organization.

The economic restructuring committee is charged with developing business retention activities, recruiting new businesses, completing marketing surveys and demographic studies and developing a competitive direction for downtown.

"This involves existing businesses and growing new business," said Bishop. "What can we do to help your business grow?"

The design committee will develop ideas for public spaces, a facade program, streetscapes, sidewalks, parking, signs and a museum. The group will also establish a historic commission and implement public improvements.

"You will look at the ideas that DREAM and PGAV has laid out and put those in place," said Bishop.

The promotion committee will work to create an image for downtown, design promotional brochures, plan special events, develop historical and retail promotions and create a log for the downtown association.

"This committee will be coming up with at least one major event to draw people downtown," said Bishop. "You will also promote what we are trying to accomplish in the downtown area."

The organization committee develop a structure for the organization and committees, fundraising ideas and a work plan for downtown. The committee will also gather information about downtown and provide public relations for the Cassville Main Street Association.

"You will figure out how to raise funds and get grants or low-interest loans," said Bishop.

The Cassville Main Street Association committees plan to begin developing a work plan at the group's next meeting on Aug. 16.

In addition to Bishop, the Cassville Main Street Association Board of Directors includes: Mark Smith, vice president; Mike McCracken, treasurer; Bob Allen, secretary; and Mary Cupps, Mindi Artherton, Carolyn Burford, Susie Jacobs and Michelle Bredeson, directors.

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