“It’s all in the name of revitalizing Meeker,” Meeker Chamber of Commerce director Stephanie Kobald said of the Main Street America program during Monday’s informational meeting at Kilowatt Korner. Meeker was accepted into the program in July after about a year of preparation. Monday, Johanna Jamison from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and Shay Coburn from
Main Street America met with members of the community to discuss the whys and hows of the program. “Main Street is one of the top most effective revitalization and economic development programs in the country,” Coburn said. The Main Street program, which does not cost the taxpayers or the community anything beyond staffing hours and volunteer time, “provides structure and accountability” for communities pursuing improving economic development and can serve as a kind of umbrella program to help different organizations pursuing economic and community development coordinate their activities. The program originally began as an effort to preserve historic resources in the late 1970s. According to Coburn, in 2015 the 14 participating communities (now up to 21) in Colorado had an average of 19 new full-time jobs and seven new businesses. Those communities ranged in population from “almost” 400 to about 21,000. Most are less than 5,000. Communities like Lake City, Colo., and Brush, Colo., have seen great results from participating in the Main Street program. “We are more than just Main Street,” Kobald said. And so the Meeker group has opted to name their chapter the Meeker Project 45, in honor of Meeker being the 45th incorporated town in Colorado. Additional public meetings will be announced in the paper and online. Business owners and interested citizens are encouraged to attend and participate.