Downtown revitalization moves on with return of Main Street Town Hall
KINGMAN – When Jamie Scott Stehly was a candidate for Kingman City Council, one of her campaign promises was to work on revitalizing the downtown part of the city.
“We need to give people a reason to get off the freeway and stay a little longer,” Scott Stehly said on the campaign trail. “A successful downtown is a great place for a community to come together.”
The councilwoman took a first step in April, with help from city grant administrator Bill Shilling, when Kingman hosted a Main Street Town Hall that focused on downtown. The facilitators and sponsors of the program – Lani Lott from Arizona Downtown Alliance, and Jim McPherson, president of Arizona Preservation Foundation – are back in Kingman this week to keep the momentum moving forward.
The pair are hosting a Main Street Town Hall Summary and Downtown Kingman Visioning Statement meeting from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Beale Celebrations, 201 N. Fourth St.
“This is a summary of the data collected at the first town hall,” Scott Stehly said. “People filled out forms with ideas for downtown, and they’ll be summarizing everybody’s thoughts. Main Street Town Hall will help us with a vision statement.”
That meeting will be followed with a series of three workshops Thursday at Beale Celebrations. It begins with a “Placemaking” workshop from 8-10 a.m. The workshop covers aesthetics, design and infrastructure. The second workshop is “Business Mix and Communication” from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. covering the topics of strengthening downtown’s business mix, filling vacancies and engaging businesses and property owners. The final workshop is “Promotion and Marketing” from 1:30-3:30 p.m. The workshop covers enhancing downtown’s image, marketing and promoting downtown businesses.
The public is encouraged to attend any or all of the workshops. More people involved can mean more and different ideas are considered.
“People can attend as many as they want,” Scott Stehly said. “Whichever (workshop) speaks to people. We want people to go where their interests are.
“These groups will continue to work (after the town halls).”
The plan is for each of the three planning groups to work together on an 18-month action plan and to keep moving to reach its goals. Lott and McPherson are expected to come back in six months.
“They’ll come back to meet with the groups offering help on problems and obstacles, and keep people motivated,” the councilwoman said.
Scott Stehly is confident this process will see downtown revitalized.
“I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback,” she said. “People who live, work, and business owners are excited about moving forward. We should have a good turnout.”
Main Street Town Hall drew a crowd of about 150 people to the April meeting.