A new beginning?
To the editor:
A bus packed with high school students to senior citizens traveled to Lansing to make the case for the City of Three Rivers to become a Michigan Main Street Community. We made it! There were parades down Main Street, a movie highlighting history and the positives in place to attract new business to the downtown, customers from here and the tourism sector alike. Studies, workshops, surveys, brainstorming, 100 Friends of Main Street, the selection of a Director, then second Director Dave Vago, new business in the downtown, and now an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.
One always hopes that those hired and elected to positions of responsibility in government will act in the best interest of the community. It’s an ideal that’s sometimes compromised by personal agendas. Is that where we are now? Since 2012 when I took over the responsibility for the Sue Silliman House in downtown Three Rivers, a common theme of conversation has been the lack of working together, of “community.”
Last week in preparation for the special meeting of the DDA I drove into the city of Three Rivers from each direction. Not once did I see a sign say “WELCOME” to Three Rivers, or that it was a Michigan Main Street Community. If you happened to land in the downtown at 57 N. Main Street, you could see it on the window of the Three Rivers Area Chamber. Still, there was no mention of an “office” therein, a little dark closet without windows or enough space to welcome visitors (if they found you) or more importantly, transact business!
Circumstances are allowing for a new beginning. At the risk of repeating myself, I propose that one of the 14 empty storefronts should become the home of the DDA/Michigan Main Street Office, Director Dave Vago visible to us and visitors alike. Can someone gain a tax benefit for offering the space? With Water Festival crowds a month away, can the City of Three Rivers step up to WELCOME them? Can the community come together to get the job done? Downtown is the heart of Three Rivers regardless of which District you are a resident. It’s the basis for the quality of life even for those in the surrounding townships. Downtown isn’t on the US-131 highway. Downtown is on Main Street.