This week selectmen committed to the Connecticut Main Street Center program to further efforts to improve downtown Collinsville as well as some other areas of town.
At its weekly meeting, the Board of Selectmen agreed to pay $750 fee to be part of the initiative, which, according to the organization, provides “expertise, resources and support so that local coalitions can revitalize their main street districts.”
Selectmen also said they understood it was a yearly commitment and would also include a one-time $2,000 summary report that involves an assessment of current conditions, business mix, structures and a recommended course of action. The $2,000 was not yet officially approved but selectmen said they understood it would be required.
Before the vote, Economic Development Agency Chairman Kevin Jackson and member Amy Parchen touted the program.
Both agreed that Collinsville already has much in place, such as the Farmington River Trail, some vibrant businesses and a great mix of historic resources.
Parchen said it’s the kind of atmosphere places like the Shoppes at Farmington Valley have tried to re-create.
“This is the authentic thing,” she said.
Parchen said she has worked with a main street program in Lancaster, Ohio and said it’s well worth the effort and brought results.
“The benefits are tremendous,” she said. “There are people out there that are experts in this.”
Selectmen Lowell Humphrey said the plan made sense and was a good example of what the board had asked of the Economic Development Agency.
We pointed them in this direction," Humphrey said. "This would probably be the next logical step."
Find out more about the organization at http://ctmainstreet.org/
The town has also applied for a $500,000 Main Street grant. See story here.