By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – Members of the local business community are excited about the city’s participation in a statewide program expected to improve the downtown area.
Dianne Woodruff, executive board member and treasurer of the Wyandotte Business Association, told the City Council on Monday that a recent visit to the Michigan Main Street Program in Old Town Lansing had a positive outcome. Brandon Wescott, Downtown Development Authority executive director, also went to Lansing, as did eight other volunteers.
“It was an energizing day,” Woodruff said, “filled with forward-thinking individuals sharing their ideas and methods of creating vibrant and vital downtown areas.”
Wyandotte was selected to participate earlier this year through a competitive application process that made the city eligible for technical services provided by the state.
“It is truly an honor and a privilege to be among this group of Michigan communities that have been designated to receive this in-depth training,” Woodruff said, “as it will ultimately improve all aspects of our downtown area.”
Officials believe the comprehensive revitalization effort, designed to support economic vitality, provides multiple benefits. They say it protects and strengthens the existing tax base, and helps create visually appealing and economically viable downtown buildings while attracting new businesses, which in turn creates new jobs.
“The Main Street approach is a community-driven program,” Woodruff said. “This means that many volunteers will be needed to experience true success.
“Wyandotte has a huge advantage over other communities on this long-range project. We have a dynamic DDA, an energetic business association, a vigorous cultural and historical commission, a many-faceted recreation, leisure and cultural department, a beautification committee, in addition to numerous service organizations, such as the Jaycees.
“Imagine all that can be accomplished by linking all of these individuals into a common-goal mission.”
The team’s next training session opportunity is in Portland, Mich., on Jan. 21.