DeFuniak Springs EDC makes recommendation to council to move forward with Mainstreet program

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS RESIDENT ROBERT MCKNIGHT asked about issues with finding past meeting minutes of the DFSEDC online at the city website.

“The Mainstreet program although not a grant is a technical support program through federal and state lines that has a coordinator that helps communities like DeFuniak Springs bring the Mainstreet program into being” DeFuniak Springs Grant Writer and Coordinator Chris Mitchell told the DeFuniak Springs Economic Development Committee (DFSEDC) at their April 13, 2017 meeting.
Economic vitality is the aim of the program to help small historic towns revitalize and draw residents and visitors back downtown.
A city official can run the program but not seek donations, but the recommendation that seemed most workable would be to hire an organizer to build a non-profit that can seek donation and fund raise.
Mitchell said with a hypothetical $100,000 budget the hire would have a salary of $40,000 plus healthcare and benefits. The budget could be broken down into thirds, with the city putting in a third, local business giving a third, and a third coming from community fundraising events.
The deadline for the program designation application is June 24, 2017, and Mitchell said he already had all the paperwork available to move forward to meet the deadline.
The DFSEDC moved to recommend to put together the information, and bring to the city manager to bring before the city council.
Populations under 5,000 can hire a part time director, but those over 5,000 are required to hire a full-time director for the program.
Other items of business discussed included an issue with meeting minutes being published on the city web site. Citizen Robert McKnight told the group he could not find past meeting minutes for the last year online. EDC board member Terry Dawkins suggested McKnight speak with the city manager about the issue first.