1. What is the proposed Main Street boundary?
The preliminary map covers all or portions of 37 downtown blocks. There are approximately 270 commercial parcels and approximately 235 businesses within this area. These businesses fall into three groups: retail - 70 percent, professional/financial/service - 27 percent and not-for-profit - 3 percent.
2. Who would run the program?
An independent non-profit organization with a board of directors made up of a cross-section of businesses and property owners in the District would hire a full-time Executive Director and oversee the program focused entirely on the priorities of downtown.
3. What would the program cost and who would pay for it?
The Main Street budget would probably be in the range of $225,000 per year. Funding could come from a combination of a special assessment district (BID), city appropriations, EDA grants, fundraising and membership fees. To view the committee's recommended three-year budget and Business Improvement District which would provide 60% of the funding.
4. Who would be affected by a special assessment district?
If a special assessment district is established by City Council, the revenues would be dedicated solely for Main Street. It would apply to all property owners in the district except for single family homes and tax-exempt properties.
5. Would businesses outside the district be able to participate?
There will be a class of membership for businesses and individuals outside the district who could participate in programs for an additional fee.
6. What would the City be responsible for?
From an infrastructure standpoint, the City will continue to be responsible for public parking, sidewalks, street lights, street trees, litter receptacles, street furniture and signage.
7. Does the state provide any assistance?
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development provides façade design services, grants, technical assistance, information resources, training seminars and more to all certified Virginia Main Street communities. There are now 24 such communities.
8. Didn’t Fredericksburg already have a Main Street Program?
Yes, Fredericksburg participated in Main Street for a short time in the mid 1980’s. However, the executive director resigned and the program discontinued. The program did not have sufficient time to show measurable results and may have been under funded.
9. What would happen to DRMI?
DRMI evolved out of Main Street when it was discontinued. It was established to be the cooperative marketing catalyst for downtown. Ideally, the activities and volunteer energy of DRMI would be absorbed into Main Street.
10. What are the next steps?
Scarlett Pons and Paul Cymrot have volunteered to lead the effort to form the initial Main Street Board of Directors. December 8th letter to downtown businesses and property owners.
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