By Jan White
CROCKETT – Members of the Downtown Crockett Association and the Crockett Planning and Zoning Commission gathered at City Hall on Thursday, Dec. 1, to hear presentations by Main Street America and Retail Strategies. The two organizations pitched their take on what might be done to improve and preserve the downtown district while attracting more businesses and tourism to the area.
Jan Harris, a representative of Main Street America, was the first to speak to the group via Zoom. Harris gave examples of how small towns could preserve their heritage, as well as receive grants and funding, were they to join the Main Street America program. Although there can be significant benefits to becoming a member, the program requires at least a three-year commitment and involves very specific requirements and standards for the city to meet in order to qualify for that membership.
Next up were Jenn Gregory and Christopher Bontrager of Retail Strategies, a business also involved with improving small towns with retail analysis, education, and resources, assisting with market analysis, strategic planning, tourism promotion, and transformative design. Like Main Street America, the Retail Strategies also works to enhance and revitalize downtown areas and requires a minimum program commitment.
Following the presentations, a discussion was held among attendees regarding their interest in the programs, the feasibility of funding, and concerns for downtown preservation.
City Administrator John Angerstein, who facilitated the meeting along with city employee Rebecca Huffman, indicated that funding for the programs could be supplied by the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provided by The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Angerstein said that preliminary project priorities are on the agenda for the upcoming city council meeting.