For this week’s Five Question With, we learn more about the Green River URA/Main Street Program from administrator Jennie Melvin.
1.What is the purpose of the Green River Urban Renewal Agency/ Main Street Program?
The mission of our Agency is to create a vibrant downtown and riverfront that is attractive and encourages economic development while preserving the historical character. In a nutshell, we aim to have a downtown that people would want to be in, whether it’s locating a business there, or just coming to enjoy the atmosphere while keeping with our eclectic history. We want it to be a place that people want to spend time, and ultimately their money in.
2. In what ways has the Green River URA helped to create vibrant downtown and riverfront?
Green River URA/Main Street has helped create a more vibrant downtown by doing several projects and holding many events. We placed all the trash receptacles and benches along Flaming Gorge Way which creates places for people to linger and helps to prevent littering which is vital to keeping our downtown clean and appealing. We put in street lighting that is more appropriate for a main street to counter the lighting that is required by WYDOT since our main street is a state highway. We redeveloped the Clock Tower Plaza and now are able to use it for more events and it’s a great place to just sit and enjoy the surroundings. We provide and maintain the flower pots and flowers downtown which is a nice touch and shows that we care about our downtown. We have awarded several façade renovation grants to businesses downtown which helps to improve the overall look and feel of Main Street. Our façade grants encourage property owners to maintain their storefronts and to take pride in their business.
We also hold a variety of events and promotions that encourage people to come downtown. We provide opportunities for local businesses to promote themselves and make themselves known to the community.
Summer is a busy time for events. Right now we have Farmers Market every Wednesday from 4-7 pm through September 13th. We also host an open mic event called Downtown Rhythms and Rhymes at the Clock Tower Plaza. The next one will be August 10th at 7pm. We brought back Movies in the Park, and the next movie will be August 11th at Centennial Park at dusk, around 9pm. In October we have our Nightmare Parade which was a really fun event last year. It’s similar to a zombie walk, but you don’t have to dress up as a zombie. Trunk or Treat, which is our most popular event for kids, will be October 14th from 10am-12pm. All of these events are free to the public.
4. How can someone get involved with the Main Street Program?
We are always looking for volunteers to help with projects, planning and events. We could use more members on our Main Street Committee. That committee is the main group of people that help with all aspects of our program. People can contact us at 307.872.6141 or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/greenrivermainstreet and send me a message if they are interested in getting involved. We welcome anyone who has time, and cares about the community. The more volunteers we have, the more we can do!
5. How is Green River URA/Main Street funded, and has that budget seen any recent cuts?
Green River URA/Main Street is funded primarily by the City of Green River. However, we also do fundraising in order to provide façade grants and other revitalization project monies. Our budget this year will remain relatively the same as last year, but last year we had to trim down our budget by about 35% so that was a substantial reduction. Everyone in the City is working hard to do more with less and we are no exception. We have an excellent Board and many dedicated volunteers that make everything we do possible.