‘Main Street’ program holds annual meeting; makes plans for summer programs

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“Vevay Main Street” held its annual meeting last Thursday morning in the Vevay Town Hall, and a crowd of approximately 25 people turned out to hear about the program and what the group’s plans are for the coming year.

The featured speaker at the meeting was Ellen Harper of the State Main Street program, who updated the group on how the state office is coordinating with local agencies around the state.

“Things are changing everyday,” Ellen Harper said.

She said that the state group is currently working on a series of workshops which will cover the four main points of “Main Street”: organization, design, promotion, and economic restructuring. She also said that community exchanges are being set up so that other communities can see and hear what’s going on in other towns and cities.

“It gives communities a sense of what’s good and what’s bad, so they can avoid those same problems,” Ellen Harper said. “It really helps other communities.”

Ellen Harper said that currently her office is not taking on any new communities, but instead is focusing on the 34 current “Main Street” communities and trying to determine what category those communities fall into. To be a full “Main Street” community, a town or city must have a fulltime staff person working on the program. If such a position does not exist, communities may still participate as volunteer organizations.

Madison was one of the original “Main Street” communities when the program was established, but is now acting as a volunteer organization.

“You don’t have to have a full time coordinator,” Ellen Harper said. “You can be a volunteer organization and still do a bang up job.”

Visitors Center executive director David Attaway updated the group on programs and activities that his office is undertaking. He said that he is working with the Vevay-Switzerland County Foundation and the Community Foundation of Switzerland County to get funding for some programming; and is also working with county and town government.

He said that a grant has been secured from Historic Landmarks, Inc., to do a feasibility study on the Unwiller Building at the corner of Main and Ferry streets in Vevay.

“We had some people walk through it, and it’s in much better shape than even most people who live here think it is,” David Attaway said. “It’s in the center of Vevay, and it’s important that we save and utilize that space.”

He also spoke about the signage and facade program that is being developed. Once implemented, that program is expected to last about two years.

The committee dealing with the placement of the flower pots around Vevay reported that there will be more pots this summer, but those pots may not be as big as the ones used last year.

Martha Bladen said that there were 53 pots last year, and that this year the committee is scheduled to have 109 around Vevay.

Finding individuals and businesses to care for the flowers and foliage in the pots once they are placed still needs to be done, but Ron Hocker said that last year people were very generous with their time in volunteering to help; so care this year isn’t expected to be a problem.

The committee will be putting out the pots on Friday, May 5th, in conjunction with a cleanup project by seniors at Switzerland County High School, who will be working around the Switzerland County Courthouse. Seniors will also be helping get them ready and then put out the pots.

The annual meeting closed with the election of the board of directors of the coming year. The seven members elected included: Nathan Crane, Jon Bond, Teresa Lyons, Ron Hocker, Donna Graham, Kristi Harms, and Rose Harbert.

Teresa Lyons was elected as the president of Vevay Main Street; with Nathan Crane being elected vice president; Donna Graham is the treasurer; and David Attaway is the secretary.