The Herkimer Now Main Street Revitalization Committee hopes to establish itself as a nonprofit organization by the end of the year.
About four months after Teresa Lynch, senior program officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Center, came to the organization with her evaluation of Main Street, Herkimer Now is moving forward with the Main Street Four Point Approach’s general outline.
The approach focuses on design, promotion, economic restructuring and organization as the key points for revitalizing downtown areas.
Committee member Scott Petucci said while the state doesn’t sponsor the program, the group will use that “exact framework” as it moves forward.
“Hopefully, within the role of 501(c)3 (a nonprofit status), we’ll be able to get some funding to hire a full-time manager for our Main Street program,” he said.
Stephanie Noble, head of economic development for Herkimer Now, previously said establishing the organization as a nonprofit as well as applying for grants for a cultural resource survey would be at the top of the list of priorities.
Noble said after the organization is granted nonprofit status, it will be applying for grants to have the survey done.
“We didn’t have time to put everything together this year,” she said. “We would be applying pretty much next spring.”
In March, Lynch offered guidelines of what the village and members of the committee should focus on as they move forward. They included:
•Improve the physical elements of a neighborhood, such as public and private buildings, signs and landscaping.
•Look for special events that can attract families and young children.
•Retain and expand existing businesses.
•Build partnerships among various groups that have a stake in the downtown.
As a way to raise money for the 501(c)3 application fee, Noble said a fundraiser has been set for Saturday, Aug. 25. Community members are invited to dress up as a superhero to chase villains down Main Street. She said a registration of $2 or $3 will be required.
Noble said, however, the event’s main intent is to foster community and family involvement.
“It gives them somewhere that they can go downtown and feel comfortable,” she said. “We’re really trying to change the perception of Herkimer’s downtown.”