Elkton Town Meeting, January 19, 2011 – Business owner, Wes Walker, asked if there is a plan for downtown revitalization beyond streetscape and what is being done to help struggling Main Street businesses. “I wasn’t here before the streetscape got done and it looks beautiful downtown, but did you have a five or ten-year plan. The street was one thing but are there any other ways to draw business downtown. I know the courthouse moved out. Are there any other way to have growth downtown on Main Street?” Wes remarked.
“Residential is a big part of that,” Commissioner Jablonski, the town’s Main Street Manager, answered. “So the senior housing project will help with foot traffic. We also have to get rid of certain problems, but we do have ears with legislation and the coalition. We’re going to have a meeting in two weeks with higher-ups.”
As the discussion continued about ways help the ailing town center, Wes wanted to know if additional promotions are in the works. “Besides the festival you put on, is there anything else planned.” The commissioner advised that a big Memorial Day Parade was being worked on for 2012. “It takes two years to put on a good parade. So we have already started with that. First Fridays are ready. Brochures should be printed shortly. Car shows are back.”
Still mulling over the possibility of having more events, the business owner suggested a town bazaar. That has been considered, but because of the farmer’s market, it wasn’t possible was the answer. To the remark about scheduling more events, Commissioner Jablonski noted that they already have a bunch of activities, starting in April and running through October as she also pointed out how hard it is to get volunteers to help produce these things. “For towns like ours volunteers are getting hard to get. It’s happening everywhere. . . . We’ve been able to keep up with the volunteers that we have.” That caused Wes to suggest that perhaps they could get more volunteers. “Many people that come into the café are willing to help, if there were a sign-up sheet for different projects you’re looking for.” Comissioner Jablonski said, ‘Wes we already have that. I keep telling you.” With the discussion drifting to other points, Wes informed the board, “There are so many people that want to be involved.”
Commissioner Givens joined the conversation that had been between the business owner and the Main Street Manager/Commissioner about this time, as he recalled the success the town had with earlier Memorial Day Parades. “We had Dick Reed and his crew to set things up. There are still people around, if you want to have a parade. The volunteer group in Havre de Grace is raising money for their parade outside the town. The town pays nothing.”
Once that was said the Mayor adjourned the meeting.