07/27/11 Downtown Plymouth could get yet another shot in the arm if they are successful in receiving a Main Street grant. During the Common Council meeting on Monday night, City Attorney Nelson Chipman told the board members that OCRA (Office of Community & Rural Affairs) in affiliation with Main Street has put out a call for cities to submit a project proposal for consideration by August 15.
Chipman explained that an actual project has not yet been decided upon, but that a date needed to be set for a public hearing. The council approved setting the public hearing for August 8.
Chipman indicated that a committee of local citizens has been working on ideas for a proposal and that a project would be identified during the August 8 meeting.
If the project proposal were to be approved, the actual application would not be due until October of this year. According to Chipman, the grant would be an 80/20 split with the City.
Main Street has a four point approach to helping communities achieve some of their goals including design, organization, promotion, and economic restructuring.
Two of those collaborating on ideas are local downtown businessmen Brian VanDuyne and Jim Vinall. VanDuyne has been working as the head of a committee of stakeholders. Vinall explained that consultants from Main Street have visited the area on several occasions. He said, “There are several different grants available through Main Street and we are working to find the one idea that would best fit this particular grant.” The grant begin considered could be used for street scape or building facades.
During the Common Council meeting, Chipman said, “They (Main Street) weigh this down state for what they want to see.”
According to information found on a website devoted to Plymouth downtown businesses (downtownplymouth.net), the downtown area was basically defined several years ago by a study commissioned by the city. Those boundaries were north to and including both sides of Jefferson St., east to the yellow river, south to the viaduct, and west to the railroad tracks.
The public hearing will take place during a regular meeting of the Common Council.
Carol Anders Correspondent