Main Street Program Vital To Town's Success

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Dear Mayor Schum:

I have recently learned that, in an attempt to eliminate the Payson Main Street Program by one of your citizens, comments were made regarding the City of Show Low's Main Street Program. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you and your council members the many benefits we have received from the Main Street Program here in Show Low.

As often happens with growth in communities, the expansion of businesses to the outlying regions of a city can have a negative impact on downtown areas. Such was the case with Show Low. We saw many small businesses in the area struggle to maintain their presence until our Main Street Program came into place.

Since its inception, we have seen a renewed interest in beautification efforts in the downtown area. Property that once housed an old gas station has turned into our Festival Marketplace, a place for citizens to come together for a variety of occasions, from our Fourth of July activities, Halloween's Trunk or Treat, or Christmas Electric Light Parade, to memorial services for honoring our MIA/POW's. Included in the Festival Marketplace is one of our first public arts displays, a statue depicting the game of Show Low, from which our city received its name.

Additional improvements have included replacement of infrastructure, which was part of the original infrastructure of our City, as well as parking improvements around the downtown area, and placement of electric lines underground. Many of these improvements have been done through public/private partnerships, indicating the support of our community.

Our vision for downtown Show Low continues to become a reality each year through the Main Street program. We have a lot left to do, but we have also come a long way.

I would encourage the leaders of Payson and your citizens to give the Payson Main Street Program an opportunity to show what great things can happen through such a program. The City of Show Low has benefited, and I am sure that Payson will do the same, if given that opportunity.

Gerry Whipple

Mayor of Show Low

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