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Downtown group seeks grant to hire manager

April 04, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, PA. - Three members of Mainstreet Waynesboro Inc. checked downtown buildings Friday afternoon as part of the agency's effort to seek a $175,000 state grant to hire a downtown promotions manager and set up a program to revitalize the area.

The survey will take in buildings along Main Street from Clayton to Fairview avenues, said Ernie Brockmann, president of Mainstreet Waynesboro.

Assisting Brockmann on Friday were James Fisher and Caryl Stalick.

The Waynesboro Borough Council has put up $10,000 in seed money for the promotions manager project. Mainstreet Waynesboro is trying to get the rest. There also will have to be some local matching and in-kind funding, Fisher said.

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"We need to get enough money to pay the manager's salary and run the program," he said. Money from the grant would come in over a five-year period.

The duties of the person who will be hired for the job still are being developed, Fisher said.

They would include attracting new business, assisting existing businesses, helping the Greater Waynesboro Area Chamber of Commerce to promote the downtown and generating events to bring people to Waynesboro.

The application process includes drafting a profile of what the downtown area looks like now in terms of buildings, the number of stores (occupied and empty), dwelling units, the condition and age of the buildings and whether they are owner-occupied or owned by absentee landlords.

The profile also has to include a short history of renovation efforts that have been done so far.

"That's important since not much has been done," Fisher said.

He said the report is to be finished by the end of April so the application can be submitted as soon as possible.

An earlier effort last year that has met with some success was a grant program that gave building owners up to $2,500 to dress up the facades of their buildings, Fisher said. The owners had to match the funds.

Owners of buildings at 2, 4, 6 and 8 E. Main St. on Public Square have cleaned the stone and brick masonry on the front of their buildings and have painted the trim, Fisher said.

The owner of a building on the corner of Potomac and West Main streets also has taken advantage of the facade improvement program, he said.

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