The flywheel is turning!

If you’ve ever read Jim Collin’s book, ‘Good to Great’, you know what I am talking about.  In this past month since the ‘Route ’12 to Main Street’ group made the final decision to submit an application to become a Michigan Main Street community, the campaign has picked up speed!  It has been so much fun to see members of the Saline community commit pledges, write Letters of Support and offer to volunteer in some way in support of their Downtown.  It has been a long, and well-traveled road.

Beginning with a community presentation last December by the Michigan Main Street Center and the support of the City of Saline City Council, we embarked on a mission to educate the community. We went on tour and made presentations about the benefits to become a Main Street community to all of the adjacent Townships, the Washtenaw County Commissioners, the Saline School Board, the Saline Historical Society, the Saline Rotary, the Saline Area Chamber, the Coalition for a Quality Community, the Fifth Corner, the Saline High Senior Capstone Class, the Saline Youth Council, the Saline Downtown Merchants Association, Saline Kiwanis Club,  the Senior Center,and  the Saline Economic Development Council.  We set up tables at the Farmer’s Market, Summerfest, Harvest of the Arts, School Open Houses and held a Business and Property Owners Information Meeting.   There have been a lot of individual meetings along the way, and recently we had our first neighborhood block party which was a lot of fun and very successful.  Our goal was to reach as many residents, businesses and organizations that we could to share our excitement about how ‘Main Street’ can help us to protect, preserve and continue to improve our downtown so that it is vibrant, economically healthy, beautiful and the place for family and friends to gather and make memories for years to come.

During this past year, we created a non-profit organization to host the new downtown revitalization organization and developed the ‘Route ’12 to Main Street’ campaign.  We are now working diligently on the extensive application that is due on December 2nd.  Our main challenge is to prove that our community supports this effort and we have the ability to fund the program.  The Michigan Main Street Center will evaluate the applications, and if our application makes it past the first step, they will schedule a ‘site visit’ to see our community for themselves.  If we pass that inspection, we will then be invited to make our case in Lansing.  In the end, they will choose up to 3 communities in 2012, and the announcement will be made some time in March.  If we are fortunate enough to be ‘Selected’ as a Main Street community, the name of our organization will be Saline Main Street!  Training of our Board, committees, and Manager will begin immediately and we will be on our way to building an organization based on a proven strategy for successful downtown revitalization. 

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we want to thank all of you who have stepped up, emailed, signed a letter of support (we’re still collecting them!) and contributed so far (the pledge campaign is still on too!), and especially the volunteers who have been working on this application for months to get us to this point. We also want to thank the City of Saline Council and staff members, who have supported this effort from the start.  We are taking pictures of our supporters as fast as we can and posting them to this site as well as our Facebook site. We want to continue to build momentum and keep that flywheel turning!  If you are interested in helping us to build and maintain a GREAT community, please take a look at the information on this site.  Thank you.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!


About Route '12 to Main Street

Route '12 to Main Street is sponsored by the Saline Historic Downtown Alliance (SHDA), a new non-profit entity focused on the revitalization of Downtown Saline for the benefit of the entire community. SHDA, with the support of the City of Saline and the EDC, is applying to become a Main Street community through the Michigan Main Street Center. It is a competitive process and over the next seven months, volunteers are working hard to prepare for the application process by educating the community, recruiting volunteers and gaining support. Benefits to become a 'Selected' Main Street community through the Michigan Main Street Center program are 5 years of technical training, design services, and increased public awareness for our community. Benefits of having a comprehensive Downtown revitalization strategy are even more, and we will be talking about these advantages in upcoming blogs.

Posted on November 23, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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