Freeman introduces bill to allow longer participation in Main Street program
State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, has introduced legislation (H.B. 1450) that would allow communities to extend their participation in the Main Street Program an additional five years, for up to 10 years in Pennsylvania. Currently, a community is limited to only five years in the program.
Freeman said the state Department of Community and Economic Development would grant a period of up to an additional five years for administrative costs associated with the hiring of a Main Street manager, if it determines that it would be beneficial to the community in reaching its revitalization goals.
“I feel the time period of only five years is often too short for Main Street programs to thrive and succeed in their objectives,” Freeman said. “Under my bill communities would be given an additional five years for a total of 10 years. My bill would provide Main Street communities with more time and, in turn, be able to fully implement a revitalization and enhancement strategy for downtown commercial areas.”
The Main Street Act was created to provide grants for commercial downtown revitalization efforts, including infrastructure improvements, marketing and promoting the established commercial downtown within the Main Street area and façade grants, all under the direction of a Main Street manager. Currently, grants for a maximum of five years may be made to support and implement the efforts.
Freeman said the legislation is expected to be referred to the House Local Government Committee for consideration.