Fraser wants to become a Main Street Community
Fraser has decided to move forward with applying for a program that could bring grants, consulting and other resources to the community.
The Colorado Main Street Program is a part of Main Street America, a nationwide network that helps communities build a vision for their downtown areas. Run by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, there are 51 Main Street communities in the state.
Main Street Coordinator Gayle Langley and Main Street Specialist Traci Stoffel explained the process of becoming a Main Street Community to Fraser’s town board Wednesday.
Granby is the only Main Street Community in Grand County, which comes with a number of benefits for the area. Yearly mini-grants between $2,500 and $10,000, scholarships for professional development, consultant services and a national network of resources would all become available to the town.
The Main Street Program works with areas to organize a structure for the local effort, whether that is through the town’s chamber of commerce, like in Granby, or through the municipality. Langley emphasized that community engagement is central to the process.
There are a number of prerequisites to qualify for the program, the biggest being community support and awareness of the program from both the public and private sectors. A desire to preserve the unique identity of the area is also necessary for success.
The process for becoming a Main Street Community includes organizing the concept for downtown with stakeholders, designing a vision unique to the community and creating economic vitality while promoting the area.
The Fraser board asked if the Fraser Winter Park Chamber would be involved in the program, but staff explained that the different identities between the neighboring towns meant that Fraser would find more success with the program separate from Winter Park.
Staff has already had discussions about the opportunity with the Economic Development Advisory Committee and Public Arts Committee, which have both expressed interest in the project. Some ideas were thrown out about creating a River Walk District or Historic District for Fraser.
The board unanimously approved a letter of support in the Main Street Program. There is no commitment with the resolution, which acts as a first step in organizing and developing the partnership.
In other business:
• The trustees discussed the possibility of dissolving the Waste Water Committee, which seems to serve little function to the town at present. Staff plans to investigate the purpose of the committee further and the board hopes to keep three longtime members as an advisory committee.
• The board heard an update on two projects related to the town’s waste water treatment plant. The work to remove pollutants including copper, zinc and phosphorous has been going well. The trustees agreed with moving forward on a study that will look at updating a number of systems at the plant.
• The trustees agreed to the job description for recruiting a town manager, approved the county’s Hazard Mitigation Plan and gave the go-ahead to staff to apply for a grant that could be used to build a park.
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Both the Grand County/Granby airport and the Kremmling airport are upgrading facilities this summer.