State officials meeting here with merchants, others Monday

Published 7:09 pm Friday, July 9, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Monday will be an important day for those wondering exactly what Niles' recent designation as a Michigan Main Street Community means.
Next week, the Michigan Main Street Reconnaissance Team will be paying a two-day visit to our community to introduce and explain the Main Street Program. The team is made up of Nick Kalogeresis, a representative from the National Main Street Center in Chicago and officials from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the State Historic Preservation Office.
In addition to introducing the community to the Main Street program, the visit will also serve as an introduction to Niles for the visiting organizations.
There are two important meetings on Monday that are open to all members of the community, a stakeholders' meeting and a visioning session.
Anyone interested in attending either of these meetings, should call Croteau at (269)687-4332, so that she can make sure there is enough room to accommodate all who wish to come.
The stakeholders' meeting, which will be from 2:45 to 4 p.m. in the Downtown Development Authority/Main Street office, 210 E. Main St., is specifically designed to allow business owners, property owners and residents of the downtown area to interact with the reconnaissance team on a one-on-one basis.
The community visioning session is an information gathering meeting, in which the public will get to voice their opinions and concerns about the future of downtown Niles. This session will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in city council chambers.
Other objectives of the visit include: reviewing and assessing the progress made thus far; determining the best strategies for Niles' Main Street program; recognizing the city's strengths and weaknesses; discussing a timeline and setting goals for future developments; and identifying any obstacles.
The two-day visit will also involve meetings with Croteau, the Main Street board and the four Main Street committees – promotions, design, economic restructuring and organization.
Following the visit, the reconnaissance team will furnish a summary memo to the community within two weeks.