The Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority welcomed more than 10 new businesses in 2011 and was awarded a façade grant for two downtown buildings.
Christy Trammell, DDA director, recently provided the annual report to the Three Rivers City Commission.
Trammell said noteworthy achievements in 2011 included the establishment of a local historic district, a retail incubator program called Project Start Up, the acquisition of a $750,000 Downtown Infrastructure Grant from the state, acceptance into the Michigan Main Street program, the launch of a new website and a settlement with the provider of ineffective outdoor lights.
Trammell said the DDA plans a number of beautification and other projects in 2012.
The Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority has announced it was awarded a $750,000 grant for making handicap-accessible upgrades, and lighting and sidewalk improvements.
Bestowed by Michigan Strategic Fund, the grant will cover a large portion of expenses related to making the Downtown Mural Mall ADA-compliant to ensure easy access between Railroad Drive and Main Street. Steps currently in place will be replaced with a gradual, sloped walkway.
Three Rivers was one of six municipalities awarded the grant from a pool of 50 applicants.
The DDA has to put up a $190,000 matching amount to receive the full grant allotment.
The Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority last week approved the use of its cables for organizations wishing to promote upcoming events.
The cables, which are in place throughout the downtown section of Main Street, allow vertical banners to be hung. Use of the cables will be granted after review by DDA Director Christy Trammell and a fee to cover the time for the city’s Department of Public Services officials to hang and eventually remove the banners is paid.
Jeff Zimont has been named the new chairman of the Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority.
Friday’s move brings an end to the 3 1/2-year chairmanship of Deb Grubbs. She indicated she preferred to not continue the role of chairperson but will serve as vice-chair.
Zimont is a past president of the Constantine Public Schools Board of Education.
The city of Three Rivers was informed last week it has been chosen as one of nine communities in the state to take part in the Michigan Main Street program.
Overseen by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the Main Street program allows its members to receive training on the basics of organizing, promoting, and economically restructuring and designing their downtown districts.
The Main Street program was established by Gov. Rick Snyder, who said its purpose is to create and maintain vibrant downtown communities throughout the state. Training provided by the state agency centers on a program called Main Street Four-Point Approach.
Three Rivers’ pursuit of the program was spearheaded by its Downtown Development Authority and supported by Mayor Tom Lowry and commissioners.
An orientation webinar for representatives from the nine communities is scheduled to take place late next week.
The Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority has announced it will stage a work session in mid February.
The event takes place 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Three Rivers Area Chamber. According to an announcement about the meeting, its purpose is to discuss goals and long-term goals during its 2013 fiscal year.