Drumheller Town Council took the first step in Drumheller applying to become an Alberta Main Street Community.
At a Committee of the Whole Meeting on September 21, council heard a presentation on the Alberta Main Street Program. This program provides a membership network, funding and expertise to municipalities to help restore historic integrity and architectural character to traditional main streets across Alberta. It serves to revitalize Alberta downtown areas.
This week at council, director of Community Services, Paul Salvatore, asked council for direction on the possibility of bringing the Main Street Program to Drumheller. Council approved to apply for a basic membership in the Alberta Main Street Program.
“This is progress in a positive direction,” said Michael Todor, member of Downtown Drumheller Merchants Association.
Basic memberships are offered to communities that are actively working towards designation to be an accredited Alberta Main Street Community.
According to the Alberta Main Street website, it comes with many benefits including an on-site visit, recommendations for implementation and advancement to accreditation.
Additional basic membership services such as peer support, ongoing comprehensive training for Main Street coordinators and board members, subsidies for registration cost to attend the annual National Main Street Conference, technical assistance relating to the standards and guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada and advice on heritage tourism programs and marketing and priority access to cost-sharing from the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program (MHPP).
Salvatore outlined the next steps in working towards becoming an enhanced member and being an accredited Alberta Main Street Community. These include completing an inventory of the historical resources in the district selected to be part of the Main Street Program. Salvatore said this would run in the area of about $1,000 per property. Another step would be to confirm the historical significance and integrity of the buildings in the footprint. The other step would be to employ a Main Street coordinator, approved by the program. The program would also need approval from a municipal government body.
“The benefit of the program is that the town would be able to identify the historic resources in more detail land identify the preservation strategies to support long-term viability for the Town of Drumheller,” said Salvatore.
Councillor Terry Yemen proposed a motion to apply for membership in the Alberta Main Street program working towards becoming an accredited Main Street Community.
After discussion, council set the parameter that there would be no monetary commitment at this point in time.