Niles downtown moving right on track

Published 6:38 am Wednesday, June 22, 2005

By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The hard work being done in downtown Niles is paying off.
On Tuesday afternoon, members of the City of South Bend, community and economic development department, visited Niles to see the work that has been done in the downtown district by the Downtown Development Authority and the Main Street program.
The group meet with city officials, Juan Ganum, community development director and Terry Eull, city administrator. Also in attendance were Lisa Croteau, Bill Haslett and John Grinell of the Downtown Development Authority-Main Street group.
Eull explained to the group how the project really got started and how, with the cooperation of the city government and the DDA-Main Street, the project was able to become a reality.
Juan Ganum said, "We here in Niles really have taken advantage of all the resources out there which would allow us to make a project like this happen. We have been in constant contact with the state economic corporation, state historic preservation society, as well as the state housing authority. We also were able to get the right people in the right seats leading the project."
Ganum added that the perception of a city really can be changed if it is invested in by the government as well as its business owners, and other residents. South Bend can make it work by doing that as well, he said.
David Fecteau said, "This is a wonderful thing that has been done in a small downtown. The committees really listened to what the community was looking for and gave it to them in the final product."
Fecteau added that the way in which the project was handled gives him some ideas as to what the community and economic development department could do in South Bend.
George Adler said, "Main Street and the surrounding area really looks great. There was some great thinking done on the part of the members of the different committees and groups involved in this project, and the city of Niles is very fortunate to have such great community support on this project."