RC Council Discusses Future Of Michigan Mainstreet Program
Thu, 15 Apr 2021 06:01:43 EDT

In a special workshop session Wednesday, Rogers City Council members spent an hour plus discussing the Michigan Mainstreet Community program.

There are around 25 Michigan Main Street communities, an economic development approach that helps coordinate volunteers and others to pool resources and act on plans to help make the community more vibrant. Being named a Mainstreet Community would open the door to state level assistance in professional planning, marketing, and organization for virtually all business operators.

For the most part, Wednesdays discussion centered on where the city has been, what has transpired in recent years, with an eye to the future of correcting deficiencies to improve the business and community economic climate.

It was pointed out that the city has lost population and many economic development or promotional efforts have been largely volunteer based. City Manager Joe Hefele observed that disagreements within the Chamber of Commerce have led to four directors in recent years, development of a tourism or Convention Visitors Bureau ended with disagreements, and both were largely volunteer based with minimal monetary support for administrators.

Hefele noted it would take the right energetic person to bring all the forces together, saying "Somebody who is trained, and has time is what's needed". He noted he has been frequently asked to assist in various projects, but has limited time with his other duties.

The working idea is to hire a central director under supervision of the city and or DDA, with additional financial assistance from other community partners. Discussion also included a possible city tax, millage, or assessment fee on motel rooms to help fund a CB and or Mainstreet liaison person.

But all were in agreement that things have to change. Mayor Scott McLennan saying "What we've been doing has not been working", He further noted that the city in general has taken the practice of wait and see what happens.

McLennan saying.... "Well, we've seen what happens".

Rogers City Mayor Scott McLennan.


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