Officials to discuss ending Marysville Main Street program

By The Mercury

Officials of Marysville’s Main Street program plan to meet next week to discuss the program’s future following cancellation of the Kansas Main Street program.

Allie Argo, who manages the Marysville Main Street effort, said the loss of statewide support will be felt, although she indicated she expects the local effort to carry on.

“We are a locally funded program,” aid Argo, noting that local businesses had invested more than $12.5 million over the past 12 years.

She said local directors plan to convene next week to chart a course for Main Street in Marysville without state support.

The Marysville program is one of two in area communities that operate under the Kansas Main Street umbrella, the other being in Wamego. There are two dozen such programs statewide.

Argo said state directors would continue to work together despite the loss of the state-level coordination.

She indicated that the biggest loss would likely be elimination of the Incentives Without Walls loan program, which had made interest-free loans of up to $20,000 available.

The loss of the state director will also be felt. “It really helps for our communities to work together,” she said. The loss of state training programs will also be felt, she said.

“It’s a very sad thing,” Argo remarked.

State officials announced elimination of the state Main Street program Thursday, citing budget problems. Begun in 1985, the Department of Commerce program was designed to provide management training, consultation visits, local program evaluation, design assistance, business enhancement strategies, incentive dollars and continuous training to business associations in member communities.

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