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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Main Street remaining strong in spite of changes

  • Last week, Kansas Department of Commerce announced the decision to end the state Main Street program. After an initial flurry, the local Main Street organization is staying the course. The Globe asked Dodge City Main Street Director, Chelsey Fisher how the local participants were responding to the change.
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  • Last week, Kansas Department of Commerce announced the decision to end the state Main Street program. After an initial flurry, the local Main Street organization is staying the course.  The Globe asked Dodge City Main Street Director, Chelsey Fisher how the local participants were responding to the change.
    "The majority of the calls I am receiving are from downtown business or property owners wondering if our organization, as well as the programs we offer, are still up and going," Fisher said.  "We are fortunate in that though we lost a vast amount of support and technical assistance, Main Street Dodge City did not lose any funding."
    Fisher said that one of the more frequently utilized programs offered by Main Street is the Façade Improvement Grant Program.  The grant program is  locally funded, and Fisher described it as 'still going strong.'
     The organization held a special meeting of their board of directors on Monday to discuss plans for moving forward.  The board unanimously decided that the local Main Street organization will carry on as usual. 
    "Thanks to the foundation provided by the Kansas Main Street Program, our local organization has the tools and programs in place to keep moving forward," Fisher said. "Over the next couple months the Main Street Board will begin to examine what the exact affect the elimination of the Kansas Main Street program will have, and then begin looking at what alternatives are available to replace those tools and incentives." 
     According to Fisher, there are 25 communities involved in Main Street programs across the state and they are still dedicated to working together. 
    "We are still working out the details on how this transition will take place," she said, "but in the meantime each individual community will continue to progress as we work together to figure out the next step."
     Fisher reiterated her appreciation for the support and assistance that the Kansas Main Street program had provided, but said she will continue to look to the future. 
    Secretary of Commerce, Pat George said he is confident of the local groups' strength to continue.  "We support our local Main Street programs and we still have a number of programs focused on rural communities.  We have five programs with 30 million dollars for programs like block grants, Rural Opportunity Zones and small business development."
    According to Fisher, Dodge City's Main Street program has several events planned over the next few weeks including the Mexican Independence Day Cavalcade that will include a parade of horseback riders through the historic downtown area that will begin around 3:30 p.m. this Sunday.
    In addition, Main Street Dodge City will be working with the Carnegie Center for the Arts, to host the “Cowboy Up Scarecrow Activity” from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, October 13.  Families and children are invited to create their own scarecrows to be displayed on the light poles in the downtown area for the remainder of the month. 
    Page 2 of 2 - Main Street will be hosting “Trick-or-Treat Downtown” Saturday, October 27 for children to trick-or-treat at all participating locations in the downtown district. 
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