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One of the four projects the Jamestown Main Street Downtown Association is advocating for is the Arts Center's effort to improve the Arts Park, located at the corner of First Avenue South and Second Street Southwest. (Chris Olson/ The Sun)

Downtown Association plans for future

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The Jamestown Main Street Downtown Association’s three-year strategic plan includes four projects that will help the association become more involved in the Jamestown community.

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The JMSDA contracted with Strategic Plan ND, a Jamestown-based consulting business, in September to develop the three-year plan. The strategic plan included new vision and mission statements and four strategic projects:

* rebranding the organization

* infrastructure advocacy

* Arts Park advocacy and

* repurposing projects advocacy.

The JMSDA is a nonprofit group formed to promote and encourage development of the downtown area in Jamestown. Members are people who live, work and have an interest in the downtown area.

JSMDA members volunteered to work on each of the projects, including help defining the goal of each of the strategic projects.

Monica Hieb is leading the rebrand project. Hieb, a financial services officer with First Community Credit Union, said part of this project is coming up with a new name for the JMSDA.

“I believe it (the new name) will be Jamestown Downtown Association,” she said. “But, what we are doing is much more than coming up with a new name.”

Strategic Plan ND created a questionnaire that the JSMDA members filled out anonymously as part of an internal assessment of the group. The internal assessment helped identify the association’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats.

Hieb said there is a perception among JMSDA members that the community doesn’t know what the association is or its purpose. She said members also have the perception that there is poor communication between members and that JMSDA events are inadequately planned.

Hieb, along with Nancy Miller, association president, and Lynn Lambrecht, an association member, plan to talk with every business and property owner in the downtown area.

“We want to find out who they are and what they want to see happen not only in the downtown area, but all of Jamestown,” Hieb said.

Hieb said JMSDA members want to be involved, by being leaders in keeping the downtown area vibrant, but want more people to be involved in efforts to improve the downtown.

Lisa Hicks, Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, is leading the JMSDA’s Arts Park advocacy project.

Hicks said the association’s goal is to help the Arts Center achieve its goal of turning the Arts Park, a piece of property located at the northwest corner of First Avenue South and Second Street Southwest, into a year-round use.

“We (association members) have attended the meeting the Arts Center has held about the Art Park,” Hicks said. “They have some fun ideas for year-round uses like having ice and snow sculptures in the park.”

Corey Bayer, a JMSDA member, is leading the infrastructure advocacy project. According to information provided by the JMSDA, the goals of this project are to improve parking and pedestrian safety in the downtown area.

Craig Hanson is leading the repurposing projects advocacy project. The goals of this project are to refocus efforts by other groups to put major community centers, like a new library and the proposed Two Rivers Activity Center, in the downtown area if possible.

Hicks said JMSDA is looking for community members to get involved with these strategic projects, and with the association in general.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at colson@jamestownsun.com

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Chris Olson
Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University
(701) 952-8454
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