The La Grande Main Street program has been in full swing for nearly six months, but this week it shifts into high gear.
Groups of volunteers have been meeting regularly since late January to lay out a course of action for the program, which is the cornerstone of La Grande’s downtown revitalization efforts. Come Wednesday the public will have a chance to hear what the four committees have been working on and, hopefully, sign up to take part in future activities. A public meeting is planned for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Cook Memorial Library. Anyone interested in helping reinvigorate downtown should plan on attending.
The meeting will include reports from the four committees — Organization, Design, Promotion and Economic Restructuring — charged with laying the groundwork for La Grande’s Main Street efforts. This will be the first time since the committees were formed that all will meet together to hear the work plans each has come up with.
The meeting will also be a time for others to sign up to help with the program as it moves ahead. Also, the first facade improvement grant will be announced and a Friend of Main Street award presented.
The Main Street program is extremely important for La Grande’s future. Broad-based participation is essential. For years people have been saying La Grande’s downtown needs a boost, that revitalization is imperative. The Main Street program, which is tied to state and national programs, provides La Grande the perfect opportunity to rally business owners and all who care about our city’s core.
Revitalizing and enhancing downtown really is in everyone’s interest. We can all play a part by making a commitment to shop and patronize downtown on a regular basis. As Charlie Mitchell, the city’s community and economic development director, wrote in a recent Community Comment, the best laid plans won’t mean anything if people don’t patronize downtown.
A healthy community needs a vibrant downtown. The Main Street program provides a way for La Grande to start building on all of the elements it already has in place.
Try to attend Wednesday’s meeting and volunteer if you can. At the very least, make a commitment to patronizing our downtown businesses from time to time. A vibrant downtown needs people.