Holton Main Street seeking one final project
Although Holton Main Street will cease to exist after the coming holiday season, officials in the downtown promotion organization are waiting until after the holidays to determine how Main Street will leave its final mark on the Holton community.
Main Street President Lynne Mulroy said that after the organization’s Nov. 18 board meeting, announced as its final meeting, Main Street officials are still looking at collaborating with the Jackson County Commission on replacing the “Holton” sign on the southwest corner of Holton’s Town Square. Replacing the railroad-tie wall with “something more permanent” has long been a goal of the organization, it was reported.
“We still want to do something major for the community,” Mulroy said. “But until everything is paid for after this holiday event, after everything is paid for, we’ll know the total funds we have remaining.”
The “holiday event” in question involves Christmas kick-off events scheduled for Friday evening, including the Christmas Parade of Lights, the lighting of the Square, Santa Claus’ visit to the Jackson County Courthouse and related activities (see related story). Apart from the wall replacement project, no further Main Street-sponsored activities are planned after Friday.
“Come January, we’ll meet with the county commission again because as far as we know, they are still interested in our wall project on the corner,” Mulroy said.
But until Main Street board members know how much the organization has in its coffers after the first of the year — and whether Jackson County will put up any funds toward replacing the railroad-tie wall — Main Street is holding off on getting design plans for the wall replacement project, Mulroy noted. Treasurer Brenda Adkins said at the board’s October meeting that Main Street may contribute $10,000 toward the project.
It was reported that Holton-based landscaper Andy Gilliland would likely work with Main Street on a design for the wall replacement. Mulroy said a committee consisting of board members Jana Lutz (chairperson), Adkins, Chad Phillips and herself has been formed to work with county officials on the wall replacement project and related landscaping.
Board members are also checking into whether any funds would be available for replacing Christmas lights in the trees around the Square but Mulroy noted board members would like to get some input from the City of Holton on how much it would be willing to contribute toward light bulb replacements. A three-person committee is being formed to discuss the issue with city officials, she added.
Before Main Street closes its books for the last time, there is still the matter of cleaning out an office in the Newman Building on the north side of the Square where Main Street maintained an office. Mulroy said the board agreed to extend rental of the office through January in order to sort through contents of the office and clean it out.
“We still need to get everything boxed up and gone through and stored,” she said. “A lot of the furniture is being taken over by the Holton/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.”
The Chamber will likely take over certain community events that had been sponsored by Main Street in the past, such as Movie Night and Jazz on the Square, as well as administration of Main Street-sponsored loans through the Incentives Without Walls and Joint Opportunities for Building Success programs, Mulroy said.
“A lot of our committees are working with the Chamber right now, and we’ll still see what they want to do at the end of this year,” she added. “But we’re kind of hung up until we’re totally financially closed out.”