The Aberdeen Revitalization Movement will receive funding from the City of Aberdeen to take the next step to become a Main Street Community.
At their Wednesday meeting, the Aberdeen City Council approved $60,000 a year in funding for the next 3 years to assist the local community group as they continue their goal to achieve the status.
In order to be named an Accredited Main Street Organization, ARM must reach a series of milestones. This includes; having a dedicated office space, which they do at 210 South I Street; limit their focus to a downtown core of businesses, which they outlined in a 3 year proposal; and hire a fulltime Executive Director, which will be a primary focus of the new funding.
The funding will allow the group to conduct a search and hire an ED to reach the other milestones in their effort.
At the meeting on Wednesday, the City Council discussed if there was the money available to provide for ARM. Multiple councilmembers insinuated that the $60,000 a year may hinder their efforts to fund other areas of operation.
Mayor Erik Larson spoke out during the meeting, saying that the funding was available.
Following the discussion, the council voted 9-1 in favor of funding. Councilwoman Margo Shortt was the lone dissenter, with councilmembers Kathi Prieto and Alan Richrod removing themselves from the council chambers as they currently serve on the board of ARM.
As part of the agreement to provide funding, Mayor Larson stated that a number of things will need to be agreed upon, including a “60 day out” clause that allows the city to step away from financial obligation if they feel ARM moves away from the focus they have proposed,
Also noted was a proposed stipulation that could ensure that both business and building owners are included in the board, as well as a dedicated city representative.
ARM had originally planned to submit their application for accreditation to the Washington Main Street Program this year, although they say that they plan to apply in the fall of 2018.