Route ’12 to Main Street….to ‘Saline Main Street?’ You can help!

The site visit conducted by the Michigan Main Street Center on January 17th went very well!  A group of 13 volunteers and City representatives gave up a better part of their day to join three members of the Michigan Main Street Center staff to review the application our community submitted to become a Select level Main Street community.  Once the application review was completed,  the group conducted a walking tour of our Downtown.  The Main Street representatives were in our community from 10 AM until 3 PM.

The next step on our ‘Route ’12 to Main Street’ campaign  is to create a 45 minute presentation to approximately 20 members of the Advisory Board and the Michigan Main Street Center. This presentation is scheduled  on February 8th at 2:30 pm in Lansing, Michigan.  Our presentation will give them a glimpse into life in Saline and share with them why we believe the Main Street program would be beneficial to our community.  It is the final step in the application process.

We are currently working on the presentation and want to include as much representation from our community as possible.  If you are interested in joining us, we will be happy to include you! Our next planning meeting is on Tuesday, January 31st at 7 pm at the Liberty Media Center.  Come and join in the fun and be a part of creating a community driven organization that will focus on preserving, protecting and enhancing the heart of our community!

What happens after the presentation?  The Advisory Committee will meet and determine if Saline is ready to move up from the Associate Level to the Select Level and officially become ‘Saline Main Street’.  If we are ‘Selected’, the announcement will be made by February 20, 2012 and the announcement party will be the week of March 5th in our community.  Let’s hope we’ll be celebrating soon!

Next Steps for Main Street

We hope you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday season.  We certainly did!  It was nice to take a much-needed break after the many hours and volunteers it took to pull the Main Street application together and get it submitted by the December 2nd deadline.  The binder was thick, 2.5 inches and many pages were letters of support from members of our community.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts…it is a great start!  We will continue to be visible in the community, hold block parties in the neighborhoods (would you like to host one for us?) do presentations around town and anything else we can to educate and inform everyone about the importance of a strong downtown organization!

We heard great news!!  The Michigan Main Street Center staff will be conducting a site visit on January 17th from 10 AM until approximately 2 PM.  They will meet with many of the volunteers that helped put the application together including representatives from the City and other organizations.  They will talk with us about our application and then do a walking tour of Downtown Saline (weather permitting).  We are excited to show them around!  Help us give them a warm welcome.  If you happen to be downtown during that time and see us walking around, don’t be afraid to welcome them and tell them how you feel about Saline’s efforts to become a Main Street community.

If we make it through the site visit, and they like what they see, we will be invited to do a presentation in front of the Selection Committee in Lansing. We will be competing against up to six communities throughout Michigan.  The Selection committee will choose up to 3 qualifying communities.

If you are interested in helping out with developing the presentation, we will be meeting on January 17th at 6 PM at the Saline Area Chamber offices.  The purpose of the presentation is to show the Michigan Main Street Center Selection committee why we believe we need the Main Street program.  (www.michiganmainstreetcenter.com, http://www.preservationnation.org/mainstreet)   This is exciting times for our community!

We would like to welcome a new volunteer to our organization!  Laurie Dawson will be serving on the Promotions Team and just recently helped us create a window display of all of our supporters and volunteers to date.  Check it out at the T & M building on North Ann Arbor Street, just north of the parking lot behind Oxygen Plus.

Happy New Year from all of us at Route ’12 to Main Street!

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!

Please Loiter

Guest Blogger, Mayor Gretchen Driskell

(posted with permission from Mayor Gretchen Driskell)

Someday you will see this sign in my downtown.

Our community is continually recreating our downtown. Since I moved here years 23 years ago the energy has changed.  The catalyst was Bill Kinley’s development, Murphy’s Crossing, which houses shops, Mac’s restaurant, and multiple offices completed in the 90s. Since then our compact downtown has added multiple events, businesses and one failed (to-date) development.

This winter, our community will be applying to receive top level strategic support for place making through the Michigan Main Street (MSHDA) program. MSHDA, recognizing the importance of quality of life in retaining talent, contracted with the National Main Street program in 2003 to provide training and support to a few select communities in Michigan. Michigan’s program (in 16 cities) has already gained national recognition even while joining over 2,000 towns in 43 states throughout the nation. To receive the Select level award, a rigorous review is made of our long term community commitment to revitalization.

Why do we want to make this commitment? Our downtown is the heart and soul of our community. The heritage of our community, as evidenced by the architecture, is here.  A vibrant downtown is a good incubator of local owned businesses and reduces sprawl. We come together to celebrate and play here. Most importantly, downtown is a symbol of our community economic health.  Follow our progress through our Route (20)12 to Main Street blog.

So…

Why would you want to loiter here today? To be at one of the best bakeries in the county, where the pastries melt in your mouth and the Saturday pretzel line is out the door. Because the parking is free. To walk to 212 Arts Center and take a pottery class. For the new restaurants in town, family-owned Mangiamo and the Downtown Diner. To watch the European style florist work her craft. For our shops, brimming with seasonal delights, or the twinkle of the holiday lights that brings a new glow to the evening. How about wine tasting or making at our local winery, Spotted Dog? Or best of all, watching the world go by while seated on the street furniture/sculpture, “Seats of our Heritage”.

Our continued commitment to the future of downtown will be evidenced in multiple areas. Further development of our pocket parks, a sculpture walk, a market pavilion and an improved streetscape that enhances the pedestrian experience are at the top of the list for design  improvements.  Main Street program tools for entrepreneur support and recruitment will help us in the development of the failed downtown project, possibly bringing a boutique hotel and additional entertainment opportunities.  We are in the final stages of implementing a form-based code in our downtown, bringing flexibility and better design guidelines to our planning process.

The success of our downtown lies in the people who have found it a place to loiter on occasion. Daily, weekly, or monthly there is always a friendly face and a new discovery awaiting you.

I encourage you to join the group of volunteers that are spearheading this campaign to become a Michigan Main Street community.  Sign up to help, send a letter of support, and help spread the word. Find the information you need at http://www.downtownsaline.org.

The Power of Main Street! Part 4 of 4

Our last example of a Michigan Main Street community is Old Town Lansing.  Old Town Lansing was named one of five of the 2011 Great American Main Street Program’s in the nation!

Old Town’s History ( from The ‘Main Street’ Difference….written by Kelly Larson, Main Street Architect, State Historic Preservation Office):  About 20 years or so ago, the traditional commercial district known as “North Lansing” or “Old Town” was a scary place that most people avoided.  Crime was high and buildings were boarded up and deteriorating. That changed in the 1990s when a few dedicated and hard-working people realize that nobody else was going to come in and fix Old Town so they were going to have to do it themselves.  In 1996, the Old Town Commercial Association adopted the Main Street Four-Point Approach and began using historic preservation as one of their key economic development tools.  A strong volunteer force started painting buildings, cleaning-up streets and parks and organizing new festivals to bring people into the district.  Today, crime rates are among the lowest in the city and vacancy rates are less than 10 percent.  Old Town is now filled with shops, art galleries, festivals, and residents.

Old Town Today:  (Excerpt from 2010 Main Street Report …an official Main Street community since 2006):   Old Town is known for its many festivals and events, but Old Town Scrapfest has redefined festivals, art and healthy competition in the capital city.  Now in its second year, Scrapfest  celebrates Old Town’s oldest business, which has specialized in scrap metal recycling for three generations.  Fifteen teams of artists had one hour to collect up to 500 lbs of scrap and two weeks to build a masterpiece.  Sculptures vary from eight foot eagles made of entirely silverware to a fully functioning chess board inviting festival-goers to challenge a friend.  The event raises money for the Old Town Main Street program, but more importantly, the event has garnered national attention and re-secured Old Town’s position as the epicenter of arts in Lansing.

Old Town celebrated not one, but 13 new business to the community in 2009.  While other neighborhoods struggled to hold on to businesses in the economic downturn, Old Town enjoyed a rush of new businesses.  Many of the new businesses were retail and many more were creative service based, giving Old Town the title of having one of the highest concentration of creative businesses in Michigan.

Old Town’s Main Street statistics 2006-2010:
Total Volunteer Hours – 21,488
Net New Businesses – 27
Existing Business Expansions – 25
Net new FTE jobs – 195
Total Number of Facade Rehabilitation – 63
Building Rehab Investments – $4,518,700
Total Private and Public Investment 0 $5,646,339

Old Town’s success can be attributed to the utilization of the Main Street Four-Point Approach, great leadership and hundreds of volunteers who care about their district.

Over the past 30 years, the Main Street movement has transformed the way communities think about the revitalization and management of their  downtown districts.  Cities and towns across the nation have come to see that a prosperous, sustainable community is only as healthy as its core.  The Michigan Main Street Center provides training and assistance to teach communities how to use the Main Street Four-Point Approach over a 5 year period to help build a strong, sustainable organization that will focus on the improvement and maintenance of Downtown for many years to come.  Up to 3 communities are chosen through a competitive application process.  Applications are due December 2nd.  If you are interested in helping by completing a Letter of Support, please see the tab on the top of this page.  Thank you!

The Power of Main Street! Part 3 of 4

Our third example of a Michigan Main Street community, Howell, is similar in size to Saline, and has been in the Michigan Main Street program since 2005.   Today, due to their volunteer efforts and partnerships with the City and other local organizations,  they are a Nationally accredited Main Street Community!  Here’s a snapshot of what has been happening in Howell…

Howell Main Street had been looking for opportunities for public art in the downtown for over a year, when a glass artist moved into a downtown loft that was owned by a member of the design committee.  The loft owner lost no time in recruiting the artist to partner with the design committee to procure a series of slumped glass panels representing the ‘Spirit of Howell.’  The panels depict popular community events, like the farmers’ market, Melon Festival, Balloon Festival, and Concerts at the Courthouse.  Next, a sculpture artist was recruited by the design committee to make a twisted steel wire sculpture in the form of  a bent-limb Indian Tree that was well known in the community and recently cut down due to disease.  Corporate sponsors were secured for 50 percent of the investment, and the remaining investment was covered by a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  The installations will be installed as part of a $1.3 million public parking lot makeover, and will be installed within landscaped areas with up lighting.

A downtown Howell book store owner loved Halloween so much that she started the Legend of Sleepy Howell in 2002.  What started as  a few kids dressing up and coming to downtown stores for some candy, turned into an event with a $10,000 budget, organized and run by the Howell Main Street promotion committee.  This free event that is held the Saturday before Halloween every year has become the best family-friendly Halloween event in Livingston County.  Those in attendance (estimated to have increased by 50 percent to 12,000 last year) are treated to the ‘Not Yet Dead Band.’ 20 candy stations stocked with 50,000 pieces of candy, inflatables, booths by local businesses with kids’ games, hay rides, a hay maze, hay climbing mountain, spooky theater, a haunted alley, s’mores and costume contest.  The promotions committee has partnered with the recreation authority to bring the ‘Headless Horseman’ 5k/10k race to the event, where an actual headless horseman leads the runners on the course!

As part of the Main Street program, Howell has experienced many successes including:

Total Volunteer Hours – 16, 708
Net new business created – 15
Existing businesses expanded – 5
New new FTE jobs – 45
Total building renovations – 70
Total building rehab investments- $1,786,819
Total private investment – $5,528,172
Total public investment – $299,800

*Source: Michigan Main Street Center 2010 Report

Volunteers utilize the Main Street Four-Point Approach to continually focus on making Howell alive with year-round activity, full of fun and diverse businesses and maintain an attractive downtown.  The next and final community we will highlight in this series is this year’s Great American Main Street Award winner, Old Town Lansing.  One of five Main Street programs to be designated in the entire country, Old Town overcame many challenges to get where they are today!

Learn more about our ‘Route ’12 to Main Street’ campaign at http://www.downtownsaline.org.  We are currently preparing our application to become a Michigan Main Street community. November will be a very busy month.  The application is due December 2nd and we need your support to show our community cares about our Downtown.  Please go to the ‘Letter of Support’ tab and join us!

 

The Power of Main Street! Part 2 of 4

Marshall celebrates the Blues!

We continue our 4-part series about Main Street communities throughout Michigan.  This time, we take a look at Marshall’s success.

In June 2003, Marshall’s already successful downtown took an important step forward toward a vision of comprehensive revitalization with its new Michigan Main Street designation. One of only four communities in the State to receive the competitive grant selection in 2003, Marshall’s downtown and its businesses received three years of training and technical assistance to accomplish their revitalization goals.  They have been in the program ever since and are now a Master Level community and reached accreditation through the National Main Street Center.

Marshall’s Story  (Michigan Main Street 2010 Report)

Marshall Main Street continues to make progress in revitalizing and sustaining long-term economic stability for Marshall’s central business district.  This year, the design committee identified a ‘Top Ten’ of downtown buildings needing design services and facade improvements.  Working with Michigan’s state historic preservation office and the Michigan Main Street Center, their design committee met with several of the ‘Top Ten’ building owners and they now have two buildings taking advantage of the design services offered by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office and Michigan Main Street.

The promotions and organization committees partnered to take their signature special event – the Marshall Blues Festival-to the next level and evolved it into a fundraiser for the Main Street program.  Using Michigan Main Street’s technical/training services for an educational workshop on sponsorships, organization committee members launched a sponsorship program for the Blues Festival. A successful first-year campaign raised $7,000 in cash sponsorships, and an additional $3,000 of in-kind sponsorships.  This resulted in a profitable festival that raised a net $5,000 for downtown programs; and an event that brought an estimated 7,000 people to downtown Marshall for a memorable blues experience.

The economic restructuring committee partnered with a community bank to offer special low-interest loan programs for downtown building acquisitions and/or rehabilitation projects.  With the backing of businesses and residents, volunteers and financial supporters, Marshall Main Street celebrates their accomplishments and the promise of more good things to come. Learn more about Marshall’s Main Street program at: www.marshallmainstreet.com.

Since Marshall has been in the Main Street program they have:

  • accumulated over 13,267 volunteer hours
  • Created 15 new businesses
  • Expanded 6 existing businesses
  • Created 35 new full-time jobs
  • Improved 49 building facades
  • private investment totaling $759,164
  • public investment of $735,023
  • total of $1,494, 187 in downtown investment

(Resource provided by the Michigan Main Street Center.  http://www.michiganmainstreetcenter.com)

The Michigan Main Street Center is a program of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and contracts with the National Main Street Center based in Washington D.C.    The National Main Street Center began in 1980 in three communities and has grown to over 2000 communities in 43 states.  Michigan started the Main Street program in 2003 and in eight short years has quickly grown into one of the most highly respected and successful programs in the Nation!

Interested in helping Saline become a Michigan Main Street community?  Click on the ‘Join Us’ tab!

The Power of Main Street! Part 1

One of the best ways to learn about anything is by example.  In this 4-Part Series, we will give you examples of  four communities throughout Michigan who have been part of the Michigan Main Street program.  Our hope is that these examples will help to show you the ‘Power of Main Street’!

Niles Story:
Despite the grim news about the national economy, downtown Niles faired quite well in 2010. They took every opportunity to push the importance of supporting local businesses every chance they had, and it hit home. Nine new businesses opened, everything from a hydroponic growing center to a cutting-edge ultrasound photography studio. They even welcomed a women’s clothing shop on Main Street— the first in decades.

The economic restructuring committee realized the challenges of doing business today and developed an innovative program to offer financial support to district businesses, both old and new. The funds include both grant and loan opportunities to allow businesses to utilize it for a myriad of situations based on the number of years they have been in business and the number of new jobs created.

Bringing new people to town is always a challenge, but this past January, the promotions committee did just that with the 6th Annual Hunter Ice Festival. Temperatures were a bit balmier than the ice liked, but the warmer weather brought out the people—an estimated 15,000 visitors over the three-day festival.

Niles statistics are impressive. Since being selected into the Main Street program in 2004 they have:

  • 24,780 Volunteer Hours Recorded
  • 28 New Businesses Created
  • 19 Businesses Expanded
  • 135 Full Time Equivalent Jobs created
  • 47 Building Façade Improvements
  • $2,525,700 in Building Improvement Investment
  • $11,495,978 Total in Public and Private Investment in Downtown

*Resource: Michigan Main Street Center http://www.michiganmainstreetcenter.com

The most important number of all is the Volunteer Hours.  Without the work of the dedicated volunteers in the Main Street program, the rest of these numbers would not be as impressive.

Check out Master Level Niles’ new website just launched this week, courtesy of a Michigan Main Street pilot branding services;  http://uncoverniles.com

Our group wants to work to improve Downtown Saline. We want to see our Downtown streets as exciting, diverse, and just plain fun as we can all imagine them!

What do You want for our Downtown?

What is the difference between the Saline Chamber, the Saline Downtown Merchants Association and Main Street?

Answer: Each organization has a specific focus and each supports economic development in various ways.  All can work together to strengthen the community and each other.

Saline Area Chamber of Commerce (contributed by Larry Osterling, Chamber Director):

The Saline Area Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary partnership of business and professional people working together to build a healthy economy and to improve the quality of life in our community.  As the chamber works to accomplish these goals, it wears many hats: economic developer and planner, tourist information center, business spokesperson, economic counselor and teacher, government relations specialist, human resources advisor, and public relations practitioner.  Simply stated, the Chamber of Commerce is a network of professional people working together to make our community a better place for everyone to live and work.  The Chamber is continually adding to the benefits of belonging (it’s a two-page list and grows every day!) and in expanding its role in an ever-expanding market area currently including the City of Saline, Pittsfield Township, Lodi Township, York Township, Bridgewater Township, Saline Township, and the 48176 zip code area in south and west Ann Arbor.  The chamber’s board is supportive of all efforts aimed at helping improve commerce in our market including downtown revitalization efforts and the Main Street Program.

Saline Downtown Merchants Association (SDMA) (contributed by Helen Martin,  SDMA Board Member)
The Saline Downtown Merchants Association, founded in 2004 and incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2008, is composed of downtown merchants and property owners and used as a forum to discuss issues affecting all of them. They are dedicated to improving and sustaining the economic climate in downtown Saline through peer support, community events and collaboration with other organizations including the City of Saline and Saline Area Chamber of Commerce, working together to:

  • Promote consumer awareness of businesses in the downtown area;
  • Promote and cultivate a culture of shopping and dining in the downtown area;
  • Promote and develop activities and events to stimulate interest in the downtown area;
  • Grow and develop the overall business climate in downtown through implementation of these activities.

Main Street Organization  (by Kelly Larson, Michigan Main Street, and Cindy Czubko)

A ‘Main Street’ organization involves representatives from the whole community including residents from the city and townships, businesses, organizations, churches, youth, government and more and focuses on Downtown revitalization, utilizing the Main Street Four-Point Approach ®, a tool which centers around the idea that downtown revitalization cannot happen by focusing on a singular goal, such as business recruitment or marketing.  Instead, long-term and sustainable downtown revitalization can only happen when there is a holistic approach focusing on four areas which include: Design; Economic Restructuring; Promotion; and Organization.

DESIGN capitalizes on downtown’s historic assets and pedestrian oriented streets to create an inviting atmosphere for businesses and consumers.  Building façade improvements, flowers and plantings, signage, street and sidewalk improvements, and maintenance are some of the activities Design team members focus on.

ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING focuses on strengthening and expanding existing businesses and recruiting new businesses to the Downtown district so that Downtown will be a vibrant, healthy place. This helps to create necessary jobs to the area.

PROMOTION enhances the image of Downtown and encourages consumers and investors to live, work, have fun, and invest in Downtown.  Promotion activities also help to build awareness outside of the community.

ORGANIZATION builds a robust volunteer program and develops methods to secure the funding resources for the revitalization of Downtown.

These activities are focused in a designated Downtown district. The success of the activities all working together benefit the entire community by strengthening our economy, increasing the value of the places we live and creating a sense of place.  Main Street ® encourages collaboration with the Chamber, the SDMA, the City, Saline Schools and many other organizations for the betterment of the community.  We encourage anyone who cares about the improvement of Downtown Saline to become a volunteer and get involved!

We are applying to become a Michigan Main Street community which, if selected, will provide five years of training to help us build a strong, sustainable organization.  We need your help and support!  Go to our blog at www.downtownsaline.org and click on ‘Join Us’ to get involved!

Why is Downtown Revitalization important?

A healthy Downtown Saline can positively affect economic growth and civic pride.  Historically, Downtown was the heart and soul of a community.  It embodied the true heritage and identity of community life.  If selected by the Michigan Main Street Center in 2012, Downtown Saline’s Main Street program will focus on retaining the real sense of community that Downtown provides through historic preservation, improvements and community involvement.  The Michigan Main Street Center provides 5 years of downtown revitalization training to Select Level Main Street programs tailored to the community for Board Members and volunteers.

Why is a healthy and vibrant Downtown important?  Here are just a few reasons:

  • Downtown is a symbol of community economic health, local quality of life, pride and community history.  These are all factors in residential, industrial, commercial, and professional recruitment.
  • A vital Downtown retains and creates jobs, which also means a stronger tax base.  Long-term revitalization establishes capable businesses that use public services and provide tax revenues for the community.  This lessens the burden on local government and the community’s taxpayers as well.
  • Downtown is a good incubator for new small businessesthe building blocks of a healthy economy.  Strip centers and malls are often too expensive for new entrepreneurs. Main Street helps us to create the environment for a strong business community.
  • A vibrant Downtown area reduces sprawl by concentrating retail in one area and uses community resources wisely, such as infrastructure, tax dollars, and land.
  • A healthy Downtown core protects property values in surrounding residential neighborhoods.
  • The traditional commercial district is an ideal location for independent businesses, which in turn:  Keep profits in town, supports local families with family owned businesses, supports local community projects such as ball teams and schools, provides a local economic foundation
  • A revitalized Downtown provides an important civic forum, where members of the community can congregate. Parades, special events and celebrations are held and reinforce an intangible sense of community.
What are the next steps for Saline?
The newly formed, Saline Historic Downtown Alliance, has been created to house the future Main Street program.  The many volunteers are working hard to prepare for the application to become a ‘Select Level’ Michigan Main Street community.  It is a very competitive process that needs to involve the whole community.  At the very minimum, we need to prove that the community wants and needs this program and that we can fund the program for the 5 year training period.  Our campaign to raise awareness is called ‘Route ’12 to Main Street’. Volunteers have been presenting the Main Street program at several organizations throughout the community since December, 2010.  This website and a Facebook page was also created to help keep the community informed.  Our efforts to raise the contributions necessary to support the program are planned to be focused through the months of September and October. We hope that by October 31, we will know if we have the support and funding to apply for the Select status.  You can learn more about the Michigan Main Street Center and how the program works at http://www.michiganmainstreet.com.
How Can you Help?
If you are interested in helping , here are some ways you can help:

  1. Write a letter of support.  Please address it to the Saline Historic Downtown Alliance  (See example under the FAQ tab) and mail it to P. O. Box 44, Saline, Michigan 48176
  2. Let us know if there is a group or organization you know of that we could come and present the Main Street Approach.
  3. Consider making an investment…(We need to show that we have pledges for a five-year period. If you believe that it is important to have a vibrant, healthy, beautiful and active Downtown that our whole community can enjoy for years to come, then please consider showing your support by investing.  We hope to have a way to make online contributions soon.  The pledges would be billed in January, 2012.
  4. Share our Facebook page and website with your friends. Help us spread the word!
  5. Share your time/skills.  Fill out the form under the ‘Join Us’ tab and we will contact you.
  6. We’re open to your suggestions and ideas on how to get the word out. Please email me at cindyczubko@yahoo.com.
Thank you!