Sunday, 22 Sep 2019

Villages combine to achieve new MainStreet status; State appropriated funding this year to select ‘Emerging Communities’

The Harding County villages of Roy, Solano, and Mosquero have come together to form an area that is one of four newly selected “Emerging Communities” that will be part of the state’s MainStreet program that provides development assistance to its members.

The New Mexico Economic Development Department this week announced the selection of the “Emerging Communities,” a new designation in the MainStreet program that was made possible by a $200,000 appropriation from the Legislature earlier this year.

The MainStreet program — which operates in New Mexico under the umbrella of the National Main Street Program — seeks to improve and promote downtown commercial districts and restore historic buildings in those districts. There are currently 23 MainStreet local affiliates in New Mexico — including Raton — and 2,000 across the nation.

To be considered for “Emerging Community” status, representatives from interested communities attended a state MainStreet quarterly meeting, participated in a special workshop that covered the MainStreet approach for commercial district revitalization and completed an application that was reviewed and ranked by MainStreet staff. A limited number of applicants then received a one-day, on-site “Readiness Assessment” from MainStreet staff to evaluate the community prior to the final selections being made.

Along with the combined villages of Roy, Solano, and Mosquero, the other selections for the initial MainStreet “Emerging Communities” were the Barelas neighborhood commercial district in Albuquerque, the historic business district in Gallup, and the Five Points commercial district in the rural South Valley of Bernalillo County.

Each of the four selected communities will receive a letter of agreement identifying benchmarks and goals for it to work toward meeting, and outlining a public-private partnership strategy for economic development within the community.

The communities will be formally inducted into the program at the annual MainStreet Awards Luncheon July 25 in Taos where state Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Jon Barela will be the master of ceremony.

“I congratulate these communities for their efforts in applying for ‘Emerging Community’ status in the MainStreet program, which was a rigorous process but will prove beneficial in revitalizing their historic districts,” Barela said. “The MainStreet program has shown time and again it is a great investment for communities in creating jobs, preserving historic properties and increasing business in traditional areas of commerce.”

Information about the New Mexico MainStreet program can be found at www.goNM.biz. The MainStreet link is found on the Community Assistance menu.