Main Street program kicks off Thursday
The La Grande Main Street Program is set for an official launch Thursday, as the City of La Grande hosts a “kickoff” event at the Maxine and Thomas W Cook Memorial Library.
The event will take place in the Colleen F. Johnson Community Room at the library, 2006 Fourth St. All community members with an interest in downtown La Grande, and especially those willing to take on an active role in the program, are encouraged to attend.
Charlie Mitchell, La Grande’s Community & Economic Development director, said the Oregon Main Street Program is a volunteer-driven approach to downtown revitalization.“Its success will in large part rely upon active committees and the work done in the trenches,” Mitchell said.
La Grande was one of 11 Oregon communities selected in 2008 to participate in the newly revamped Oregon Main Street program.
The state program is affiliated with the National Trust Main Street Center, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C.
The program’s approach encompasses work in four broad areas: organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring.
As a participant, La Grande is set to receive technical assistance and other services from the state and the state’s contracted consulting teams.
Two consultant team visits are already planned for February.
“Our goal through this program is to solidify downtown La Grande as the social, cultural and economic center of the community,” said Mitchell. “This program is designed to maintain and enhance the commercial vitality of our downtown district within the context of historic preservation.”
The event kickoff will be facilitated by Lisa Dawson, executive director of the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District.
It will begin at 4 p.m. and is scheduled to end by 6 p.m.
The gathering will feature an overview of the program, discussion of 2009 prospective timelines and an overview of the roles of the committees.
Organizers will be encouraging attendees to sign up for committee work. There will also be a group exercise to determine a suggested geographic boundary for downtown La Grande as it pertains to the Oregon Main Street program.
For more information, call 962-1307, or visit the city’s new Oregon Main Street website, http://www.lagrandemainstreet.org.