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MOLLY GOLDSMITH: We can do it working together

By Molly Goldsmith

Mitchell Main Street & Beyond

In regards to Councilman Mel Olson's Sept. 9 editorial in The Daily Republic, Mitchell Main Street & Beyond couldn't agree more.

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Yes. We do need a plan to enhance our downtown. And MMS&B has one.

Recently, MMS&B unveiled Mitchell's Downtown Streetscape, a comprehensive plan that will revitalize our 130-year-old historic downtown district, adding vibrancy, developing cohesion and enhancing quality of life in Mitchell. Elements of the plan include public art, an outdoor amphitheater, kiosks, a splash park, outdoor playground, landscaping and many other features that will create a consistency in Mitchell's downtown from The Depot to the Corn Palace and from Lawler to Rowley streets.

Why downtown you ask? It's the heart of your community. Your downtown district is home to 152 businesses, which brought in $28.1 million in taxable sales in 2012. More than $562,000 was returned to Mitchell in the form of sales tax. This does not include the payment of approximately 750 local employees and their support of local organizations.

There are 252 living spaces in downtown Mitchell, and each year 34 events and activities take place on Main Street, including car shows, parades, festivals and retail events.

The buzz of activity will only increase with a revitalized Main Street. Beautification projects enhance community pride, as well. A visually-appealing downtown will entice business and property owners to regularly maintain their properties and ensure they have a long presence on Main Street.

With all the chatter of Downtown Streetscape, rest assured work toward a new downtown has already begun. Currently, MMS&B has launched "The Bench Project: Sit and Relax," which encourages supporters to help fund benches in the downtown district. Those interested in supporting The Bench Project can donate directly to MMS&B or via the website, Supporters can pay for a portion of a bench or pay for an entire bench as a memorial for someone special.

In addition, the MMS&B design committee has teamed up with the Palace City Pedalers to design bike racks for Main Street.

And, while Downtown Streetscape is at the forefront of our minds, MMS&B constantly works toward recruiting new business owners to the downtown district and planning new events that benefit the community as a whole.

Revitalization of your downtown takes you -- when you attend events, shop locally, volunteer or provide a contribution to Mitchell's Downtown Streetscape Plan, you are impacting your community.

So, what do you say Mitchell? Are you ready to play a role in revitalizing your downtown?