Butler County Times Gazette
  • El Dorado Main Street to continue despite state program being discontinued

  • The Kansas Main Street Program has been discontinued, according to Pat George of the Kansas Department of Commerce.
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  • The Kansas Main Street Program has been discontinued, according to Pat George of the Kansas Department of Commerce.
    Main Street directors across the state were notified today of the decision.
    This was part of a new restructuring as the Department of Commerce continues to seek efficiencies and face smaller state and federal budgets.
    Despite there no longer being a state organization, the El Dorado Main Street program will continue to serve this community.
    "El Dorado Main Street is an organization which was designated through the Kansas Main Street program, but we are our own entity in this community with a strong relationship with the City of El Dorado," said Lindsay Mills, El Dorado Main Street director, in a letter to Main Street members. "While we are very saddened that our state organization is discontinued, the National Main Street Organization still stands."
    El Dorado will be affected by the loss of grant opportunities through the state, as well as loss of educational resources, which led to the HOPE VI grant, ideas for festivals, façade grants and more.
    "The other piece that we suspect will be discontinued is the loan fund, Incentives Without Walls, which has helped open the doors to many new businesses in our community including the recent openings of El Do Froyo, Sweet 120, and Posh," Mills said. "It would be very unfortunate to lose access to these funds which have leveraged over $1 million dollars in new businesses and historic preservation projects in downtown El Dorado."
    She did say their successes have not been reliant on the state program.
    "The hundreds of volunteers, partnerships with City of El Dorado and our local businesses are what have led to now $40 Million Dollars in re-investment in downtown El Dorado since 1999 when we became a Main Street Community," she said.  "We will not stop moving forward with our mission to continue to strengthen the downtown area.  We still believe that the heart of our community is the downtown and we must all work together to make sure that it continues to be."
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