City Hall

Republican Eagle file photo

The Port Authority granted money to a third group for a first-time event at the July 5 meeting. This grant has been given to three groups in total to spark more engagement in the city over the summer and fall. 

First Time Event Grant

The First Time Event Grant was created in collaboration with Downtown Main Street to jump-start new events in town. 

“The Old West Main group has come together to submit a proposal for a first time event that they hope will continue on after the first year as they learn more,” said Megan Tsui, executive director of Downtown Main Street. 

This event is scheduled to happen in late fall and the first occurrence of the event will help celebrate the opening and showcasing of some of the improvements. 

With the construction being completed by the time of the event, the West End District hopes to welcome everyone to a re-opening. 

“There will be a ribbon cutting for the bridge and the street improvements. Some other specifics are scare-crow decorating contest, parade, bouncy house and a “touch a truck” event which is a fantastic event for kids to come and look at big trucks,” Tsui said. 

The committee felt that late fall would be a good time to host an event because of the break in events in town during that time to bridge the summer and winter timeline. The grant was approved in the amount of $3,000 to get the event planned and started. 

Downtown Redevelopment

More discussions were held on the pushing forward of current redevelopment projects. 

Projects including the former Bauer Built building, Block 27 housing development and the new Caribou Coffee. Each project is moving forward. 

“The former Associated Bank building is moving forward with the project. The developer has hired a building design firm to complete an analysis of the building and to develop a more detailed floor plan for potential re-use of the building,” said Kyle Klat, community development director. 

Business Challenges 

During the Port Authority meeting, the board discussed potential ways to assist businesses who are struggling with inflation and other external factors. 

Port Authority Manager Shar Chorney said, “I just wanted to bring this to the board for awareness, the finance committee met with a business owner from downtown and got to listen first hand to the experiences this business owner is having.”

Chorney continued, “He was referring to some supply chain issues and the rise of inflation and how that has been impacting his business and also the tail end of COVID. I thought it was good to bring it to the attention of the board and see what can be done.”

Some board members support a fund to assist businesses while others are more wary of funding assistance. 

No action was taken on this item but Chorney is planning to survey more businesses to see how this may be affecting other businesses within the community. 

“I thought it was brave of this individual to come forward and talk with us and present their challenges. I do anticipate seeing more of this with other businesses and I think it would be good to do a more in depth survey just to get some more data from other businesses,” said Port Authority member Andrew Petersen.


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