An update from our meeting on Monday:
We ended up just meeting with the Main Street Board. The Environmental Sustainability Board requested that we postpone our meeting with them, but we did have a very productive conversation with the Main Street Board. They gave a presentation on several of the initiatives they have been working on this year, including the Keep the Lights On campaign, the utility box wrap art, and Trains on Main.
We also talked about the Façade Enhancement Grant program (which provides grants from the City to restore/upgrade building facades in the downtown district). Council discussed the possibility of making changes to this program in the future to ensure that the criteria for the program align with downtown’s current needs. For my own part, I suggested that grant applications that seek funding for things like wall art (on the side of a building) or more permanent façade improvements (such as upfitting or repairing a brick façade) would be a better use of funds versus grants for more temporary improvements (for things like building canopies, etc.).
The dog park initiative was also a key discussion point, and we encouraged the Main Street Board to continue collaborating with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board on that project.
We also had a good conversation around public art and a general desire to see more of it. Given the expense involved with these sorts of projects, the Main Street Board indicated that they would look into the availability of non-public funds (grants, etc.) for public art projects.
All around a good conversation. I think check-ins like this with the advisory boards are a good way to keep everyone rowing in the same direction, so I look forward to doing more of these in the future.