Cindy Klepper of the Huntington County TAB is running a series of candidate questions through April 25th. Here is my response to Question #2, published on April 4th.
What, if any, should the city’s role be in downtown revitalization? Would you propose restoring Jefferson Street to two-way traffic? Should the city allocate funds for projects such as façade improvements or downtown promotions?
I am and have been committed to supporting and funding the efforts of Main Street Huntington to restore beauty and charm to our downtown. As a city councilman and local businessman, I have been a strong advocate for a vital, attractive downtown as part of our overall economic development plan. I applaud efforts spearheaded by Rose Wall, Teresa Plasterer and the Department of Community Development that have made great strides toward restoring a sense of pride in our central business district.
Downtown events such as the Farmer’s Market, JeFFFest, Heritage Days and the Plant Swap help promote a sense of celebration and community togetherness. We need to work with merchants and the Chamber of Commerce to create distinctive events that will draw people from Huntington and around the region to our downtown. The current mix of restaurants, theaters, retail stores, professional offices, salons, and specialty shops offers an inviting atmosphere.
I grew up in Huntington and can recall Jefferson Street being closed to traffic, then later reopened to limited, one-way traffic. Any proposal to restore two-way traffic would require consultation with downtown merchants and the Indiana Department of Transportation, as well as public input. It is my sense that two-way traffic would adversely affect an already limited amount of store-front parking. We must work to develop a distinctive approach to downtown development that will attract local and out-of-town shoppers, diners and people seeking fun and entertainment.
Let’s Move Huntington Forward!