A downtown revitalization director will be hired in August — in part to secure a mainstreet designation for the town, an official told members of Killeen City Council on Tuesday.
“The benefits of participating in the Main Street Program are the resources,” said Edwin Revell, executive director of development services. “We plan to hire a director of downtown revitalization, and that is one of the main requirements” of the program. “Once we have this person on board, they will be responsible for preparing the Main Street application.”
The Texas Main Street Program is affiliated with the national organization Main Street America. It provides “technical expertise, resources, and support to Main Street communities across Texas in accordance with Main Street’s national four-point approach to organization, economic vitality, design, and promotion.”
Revell said the application to join the program will be submitted around July 2023.
“Then we will hopefully get the preliminary designation.”
But the full designation won’t come until 2024.
“The application period is open every July,” Revell said. “The intention is to ensure that we are ready to make this submission next July.”
Benefits of becoming a Texas Main Street City include training and professional development for the Killeen Downtown Revitalization Director and assisting Main Street businesses to support branding and marketing .
“This program is extremely important to our growth and future development,” said City Councilwoman Jessica Gonzalez. “It’s really important that our city understand the seriousness of what this means. The program has a long history of helping revitalize old historic commercial districts.
The Texas Historical Commission selects up to five cities for Main Street designation each year. Across Texas, there are 90 such communities, including Temple and Waco.
“Mr. Revell, you did a great job,” Councilman Ken Wilkerson said. “It looks like a great program. take place.
The Main Street program requires Designated Cities to budget for their programs for at least five years and demonstrate a historic business fabric and identity; community and private sector support; financial capacity; demonstrated need; and geographical distribution.
But is it “necessary to rename or create a street in downtown Main Street? said Councilman Michael Boyd. “Do you think that would be wise?” »
Revell said it was not a requirement of the Main Street scheme and even advised against renaming a Killeen Street.
“We must continue to preserve our own identity. I think if we just call, say, Avenue D Main Street, it’s a bit generic. I think we should focus more on … our identity and our brand image.
Also on Tuesday, council members unanimously, in the absence of Jose Segarra and Ramon Alvarez, authorized City Manager Kent Cagle to “negotiate and execute contracts with selected beneficiaries for the downtown start-up program.” town of North Killeen. They are:
Let’s Eat Texas, $89,000
Aromas Cigar Lounge, $239,953
Rincon of Panama, $87,500
Braids and Brows by Chris, $19,781.
According to documents, the Town of Killeen, through the American Rescue Plan Act, “makes assistance available to entrepreneurs interested in starting or expanding businesses in North Killeen and downtown historical”. The program aims to “build stronger communities and enable greater access to economic opportunity in areas disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic”.
Funded by a portion of ARPA funds allocated to the city, North Killeen’s Downtown Small Business Relief and Startup Program received $1 million.