Main Street Needs More Money, Freeman Says
State Rep. Bob Freeman pushing bill that would extend Main Street programs.
State Rep. Bob Freeman (D-136) wants to give programs like Main Street Initiative more time to do their work.
Freeman, whose legislative district includes Hellertown borough and parts of Lower Saucon Township, has proposed legislation that would extend the life of Pennsylvania's Main Street programs, which are designed to help communities improve their downtowns.
The bill would extend funding for the administrative side of those programs for another five years, provided that the state Department of Community and Economic Development gives its permission.
"Unfortunately, we have seen in numerous cases that the current five-year time frame to turn around a traditional downtown is too short," Freeman said in a news release. "A community just begins to see the progress brought on by Main Street initiatives only to see the plug pulled prematurely, often causing the downtown's success to suffer."
He added: "An additional year or two of support can make all the difference. My legislation would provide that to help sustain the revitalization momentum and better ensure success in restoring a traditional downtown into a stable and successful heart of the community."
Hellertown's Borough Business Revitalization Program (BBRP) is part of a regional Main Street program that represents a partnership between the DCED, the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber Foundation, Lehigh and Northampton counties, and the borough.
Under the leadership of Borough Business Coordinator Mary Himmelberger, the Hellertown BBRP has endeavored to promote, support and beautify the borough's downtown and environs with projects such as:
- Sponsorship of an annual Community-Wide Yard Sale.
- Sponsorship of Saucon Valley Restaurant Week.
- Establishment of the Hellertown Patriot Project.
- The redesign of the borough's logo.
- The purchase of flower planters, which are displayed at intersections.