$60,000 in grants proposed in the city's next biennial budget

Sandy Main Street is alive and well, especially since managers of the city of Sandy decided to make a place in the proposed biennial budget for Main Street support.

During the next two years, city officials hope to contribute about $60,000 to Sandy Main Street. It will be considered part of the city’s economic development program, although Main Street will function separately.

Sandy Main Street is a nonprofit corporation, with a board of directors and lots of volunteers and supporters. Its purpose is to promote the business community in downtown Sandy.

The influx of money will take the form of two $20,000 matching grants to qualify Sandy Main Street for two years of services from a full-time coordinator from AmeriCorps.

The other $20,000 of the proposed $60,000 will pay for volunteer training as well as the expenses of an office and the cost of materials for Main Street activities.

The local program has been functioning with active volunteers and an unpaid board of directors since its former director returned to school in September 2012.

The coordinator will not be pushing papers around an office, said Board Chairman George Hoyt. The board intends for the AmeriCorps coordinator to be out of the office, establishing and building relationships within the community that would fill empty storefronts, help local businesses and the overall Sandy economy.

The next goal for Sandy Main Street, Hoyt said, is to gather a number of people from different walks to aid in crafting a vision for the Main Street downtown core.

The proposal for the city to support Sandy Main Street has met with favor from the mayor, planning director, economic development director, city manager and likely others.

The proposal would become part of the city’s biennial budget when it gains approval from the City Council late next month or in early June.

The Sandy Main Street board would direct the activities of the coordinator.

In other committees, Sandy Main Street’s promotion committee is busy getting ready for the next in a series of six First Friday promotions this year.

The committee that produced the Christmas tree lighting last December has paid nearly $1,200 to the city as a partial payment on the $1,400 advance loan it received to purchase lights for the tree last year.

Hoyt said the plan this year is to double the number of lights on the tree and collect enough donations to pay the small balance left from last year and pay for the lights added this year.

Other committees of volunteers include way finding, the corporation’s board of directors, organization and economic development.

For more information, call Hoyt at 503-668-8623.

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