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Lehighton Main Street Steering Committee to meet

Published July 19. 2019 12:51PM

Lehighton continues to strategize ways to transform its downtown into a hot spot destination.

To that end, the Lehighton Main Street Steering Committee will once again meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the borough municipal building.

Meghan Sander, chairwoman of the Main Street Steering Committee Organization Subcommittee, said the objective is to attract more and more visitors to the borough’s downtown.

“Taking a stroll down First or Second Street isn’t something that is at the top of the list for many residents or visitors of Lehighton, but the Main Street Steering Committee is trying to change that,” Sander said. “A diverse group of volunteers has been meeting monthly since January to educate themselves and business owners on the Main Street Four Point Approach.”

Main Street America states the approach offers community-based revitalization initiatives with a practical, adaptable framework for downtown transformation that is easily tailored to local conditions.

Main Street Specialist Teresa Lynch has visited the borough on three occasions and provided reports to guide the Main Street movement.

The assessments and trainings were funded through Smart Growth Grants of the National Association of Realtors, and the match provided by the borough.

The borough has received support from the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors, as well as the former Carbon County Association of Realtors.

“The group is learning the importance of the Four Point Approach, and how to incorporate it to Downtown Lehighton,” Sander said.

Sander said subcommittees of the Main Street Steering Committee revolve around each area of the Four Point Approach: Economic Vitality, Design, Promotion and Organization.

“Each of these is vital in our community transformation,” she said.

Borough manager Nicole Beckett, along with Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Director Kathy Henderson, began the research in 2013 that makes up the backbone of the program.

“The data from the Smart Growth Grants helps provide focus on the downtown buildings and businesses,” Beckett said. “The structure of this long-term project will help the preservation of Lehighton and build a strong business community in the downtown.”

Beckett, who also serves as chairwoman of the Main Street Steering Committee, said the mission of the steering committee is to “build pride and preservation in the Lehighton Downtown Business District.”

“Guided by the Main Street Four Point Approach, our driven volunteers provide support and encouragement to the business district, the surrounding community and the residents and visitors of our hometown,” she said. “The committee is focused on education, networking and facilitating success in the downtown.”

Beckett said that borough officials plan to reach out to the state Department of Community and Economic Development to discuss Keystone Community Designation, along with the steps required for Main Street Designation.

She said the committee welcomes new volunteers, as well as anyone interested in becoming involved in the Main Street movement.

For more information, contact Beckett at 610-377-4002, ext. 214.

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