Medina backs off ‘Main Street’ program

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 July 2014 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – The downtown business community was pushing to become a “Main Street” program affiliated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation but that effort is now on hold due to the uncertainty with the village of Medina and its relationship with the towns of Ridgeway and Shelby.

“We’re still very interested in the National Trust and being a part of that program, but we want to step back right now,” said Cindy Robinson, president of the Medina Business Association.

Village officials are looking at dissolving the village government. The two towns would assume many of the current services provided by the village, according to a dissolution plan. Some functions could also be managed by local development corporations and special taxing districts. (Robinson was a member of the Dissolution Committee that endorsed a plan should village residents support a dissolution.)

If Medina became a Main Street community, it should have a paid director, according to National Trust recommendations. The village and two towns were asked to help fund that position, with other donations coming from businesses and the community.

Having the designation and affiliation would boost the community’s chances for grants to help with building upgrades and other community initiatives, Robinson said.

However, the MBA can still push for grant funding through Chamber of Commerce. The MBA is under the Chamber’s auspices, and the Chamber is a 501c6 organization, eligible to receive grants, Robinson said.

The Western Erie Canal Alliance had approached Medina about pursuing the Main Street designation, partly because Medina has been successful filling its storefronts with independent merchants, and running many community events and initiatives that draw people to the downtown.

Robinson said those efforts will continue, and the MBA will try to find a way to bring grants and resources to the business community.

The group will meet 8 a.m. on Aug. 19 and will hear from Ed Flynn of Labella Associates about grant opportunities for the business district. That meeting will be at Paper Boys.

“Being part of the Main Street program would be nice and there would be a lot of prestige,” Robinson said, “but right now we’re going to find ways around it and still accomplish some of the program’s goals.”