Wellington's main street makeover moving along

If Peter Pronko and Chuck Mayhugh have anything to say about it, Cleveland Avenue, the main street of “Colorado’s Northern Gateway,” the “brand name” for the town of Wellington, will soon have a spiffy new look. Since the spring of 2012, the two men have been part of an informal working group discussing a Wellington main street revitalization program.

At the town board meeting on Sept. 10, Pronko and Mayhugh represented the group in asking council to make the funds necessary for moving the project forward as a line item in the city budget for 2014.

In his presentation, Pronko said the informal group has organized into four working committees: organization, economic restructuring, promotion and design. To date, the working group has sponsored a seminar for the business community explaining the role of a downtown development authority, created a preliminary architectural design for a rejuvenated Cleveland Avenue and developed a map of Wellington with specific site information.

In order to continue producing results, Pronko wants to move forward with “a more organized structure and planning that will survive beyond individual efforts.” He suggests two ways to make that happen: Become a formal Main Street Candidate Project under the Department of Local Affairs Main Street program or develop a Downtown Development Authority.

Accomplishing either one of these goals requires the community to undergo an assessment process by a DOLA approved entity such as Downtown Colorado Inc. Wellington is a member of DCI through financial sponsorship by the Wellington Chamber of Commerce.

The required assessment is comprised of a two-day technical assistance visit resulting in an action-based guide for revitalization. Recommendations resulting from the assessment will become the basis for a program capable of transforming downtown and guiding it into the future. Several professionals including an urban designer, community resource manager, economic development specialist, promotions and marketing specialist, financing specialist and land use planning specialist will make up the assessment team. They will interact with downtown businesses, city staff and trustees, nonprofits and residents.

Price tag for the project is $10,000 for the assessment and $2,000 for team expenses. DOLA Main Street has committed $2,000 and $10,000 is requested from Wellington’s city budget for 2014.
Trustees took the request under consideration. The first budget hearing is scheduled for late October with a decision before the end of the year.

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