Stand-alone corporation forms to revitalize downtown

There’s a movement afoot among some who live in Wellington and love the small, friendly little town in Northern Colorado not only for what it is, but for what it could become.

And following the recommendation of a report submitted by Downtown Colorado, Inc., an organization committed to the well-being and healthy development of small towns in Colorado, the Wellington Colorado Main Streets Program has organized as a stand-alone nonprofit corporation in order to provide maximum flexibility and freedom of action as it begins to incorporate specific recommendations in the DCI report.

Run by an elected board of directors and officers chosen by the board, the group meets the first and third Wednesdays of the month. A website describing its operation, function and projects can be accessed at www.wellingtoncomainstreet.org.

According to a press release from Peter Pronko, president of the WCMSP board, “The program will use an approach that advocates a return to community self-reliance, local empowerment, and the rebuilding of central business districts based on traditional assets of unique architecture, personal service, local ownership and a sense of community. It envisions the development of downtown social capacity, new markets, useable space and business opportunity.”

Pronko stresses the importance of preserving the special historical significance of the downtown area while revitalizing it to provide for and encourage the increased involvement of residents, businesses and visitors. Pronko and his wife Diana, who own Proper Time in downtown Wellington, are committed to seeing the town evolve and flourish.

The improvement, expansion and redesign of Centennial Park, making it accessible from Cleveland Avenue, is one of the first projects Pronko would like to see undertaken. He believes the existence of an attractive and welcoming “central park” in town would be a major step in revitalization.

Other projects the WCMSP plan to address include improving safety at intersections and crosswalks, updated signs and structures, an emergency light that allows the fire department to navigate onto Cleveland Avenue, off-street parking on Cleveland Avenue, the repair and expansion of existing sidewalks and the addition of lights, benches, trees and plants along Cleveland Avenue. The runoff drainage problem on Cleveland Avenue also needs to be addressed and signage announcing facilities and destinations in downtown need to be installed.

The current board of directors for WCMSP are as follows: Robert Williams, secretary, Brian Graves, vice president, Tom Gillespie, treasurer, Matt Michel, Walter Lamia, Bill Ullom and Gary Green.

Memberships in the organization are currently being accepted on four levels: Citizen – $10, advisory – $25, director – $50 and business – $200 or more. All memberships but the $10 level offer the privilege of voting on WCMSP initiatives. Forms for joining the organization are available on the WCMSP website and can be mailed along with dues to WCMSP, P.O. Box 1468, Wellington, CO 80549.

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