Another round of talks on the future of downtown La Grande opens this week, with consultants from the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department and the National Trust for Historic Preservation addressing business and government leaders and others Thursday and Friday at the Cook Memorial Library.
Representatives from the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department and the National Trust for Historic Preservation will discuss La Grande’s downtown in meetings and workshops at Cook Memorial Library. - The Observer/PHIL BULLOCK
Gary Van Huffel, the OECEDD’s Main Street Development coordinator, and Kathy Laplante, a program officer for the National Trust, will share their ideas for downtown development and revitalization with the public.
Emphasis will be given the Oregon Main Street Program, which provides assistance, training, technical services and grants to communities that want to preserve, revitalize and establish their downtown.
According to the OECEDD, the goal is to build high-quality, livable and sustainable communities that will grow the state’s economies.
The program was started this year to rebuild and grow the state’s Main Street Program, which operated from 1986 to 2002.
It is coordinated with the National Main Street Center, a division of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and with state agencies and organizations.
Also discussed will be National Trust's Main Street Approach, which is touted as a comprehensive approach to downtown commercial revitalization.
The approach has been implemented in more than 1,800 cities and towns in 45 states with the help of the National Main Street Center and statewide downtown revitalization programs.
The Main Street Approach integrates organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring into a practical downtown management strategy.
Thursday at 6 p.m., the City of La Grande will host a meeting with Van Huffel and Laplante in the Colleen Johnson room at the library. Those wishing to attend should call Angelika Brooks at City Hall, 963-1309.
Friday beginning at 9 a.m., Van Huffel and Laplante will conduct the Oregon Main Street Workshop, also in the Johnson room. The session is scheduled to end at 4 p.m.
Sign-in for the Friday workshop will take place at 8:30 a.m. The event is open to the public.