Main Street remains alive

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mike Seitz, speaking for Main Street Nevada, echoed what one of Missouri's favorite sons once said about his death -- reports of its death are greatly exaggerated.

"Main Street is still a viable organization," Seitz said. "We will be scaling back our operations, but we will continue with some projects."

The organization is finding itself stretched thinly to maintain all the projects it had in the works and Seitz said the board came to the conclusion that in order to keep itself relevant to the downtown area, the board would take a breathing spell while it sought to rejuvenate itself with new volunteers.

"The directors will still maintain the lights around the Square," Seitz said. "The Safe Treats parade around the Square is a must -- we enjoy it as much as the public does. Since our board is a volunteer group and there's no paid position with Main Street, the members of the board are scaling back."

The problem is, as with many volunteer groups, that a small number of people are doing the majority of the work. While they are all dedicated to improving the downtown area, they have other commitments that take time and effort to fulfill.

"There are seven board members," Seitz said. "They're all involved in other civic groups and they also have to make a living. In addition they need some personal time -- no one can keep going without let-up, forever."

The group did consider disbanding but felt by keeping organized and active, even if with reduced activity, they could keep their 501(c)3 status which could be very helpful in the future, especially with the DREAM initiative being proposed.

"We thought it important to keep the 501(c)3 status because it is a long process to get one and it might be helpful to future projects like the DREAM initiative. We support the DREAM initiative completely," Seitz said.

The DREAM Initiative Grant program was established in 2006 by Governor Matt Blunt to help small and mid-sized Missouri communities access state resources that could help them revitalize their downtowns. Towns chosen for the matching grants are eligible for up to $250,000 in technical assistance from the state, with the city's providing up to $50,000 in matching funds over the three-year grant period.

Seitz said the group had depended on donations since funds had dried up from federal and state sources after the attacks of September 2001.

"We're extremely grateful to those who have donated to us over the years, they've been very generous," Seitz said. "We'll still be soliciting donations for maintaining the lights, so we still need them."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: