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Board briefed on ‘Main Street’ efforts

Richard D. L. Fulton

(2/17) Main Street Manager Vickie Grinder briefed the Thurmont Board of Commissioners at their February 11 meeting regarding Main Street projects.

Regarding the future business expositions, Commissioner Wes Hamrick asked, "If we start seeing more decline in 21788 businesses, is there a possibility of opening up to Northern Frederick County?"

Grinder said, "I think what we’re going to discuss after this year’s Business Expo, I think every so many years you need to reinvent the wheel. I’m hoping that will get the attendance back up."

We had talked that maybe down the road we could with Emmitsburg and do a joint (exposition)," the Main Street manager stated. "The thought is there."

Mayor John A. Kinnaird, however, was adamant against having business represented at the exposition who were located outside the current zip code restriction. "In ten years we have never decided to invite businesses outside of the 21788. The Main Street organization is to promote Thurmont. I don’t want to support business outside the community."

Commissioner Bill Buehrer said, "If you want to promote your businesses you don’t really care where they come from as long as they come (to Thurmont’s exposition)." Buehrer categorized Kinnaird’s opinion as "pretty narrow."

Grinder also discussed a promotional brochure for Thurmont, Grinder said they "are a done deal." Grinder told the commissioners that "this is a tourism vehicle. Sixty-five percent of our businesses depend on tourism. All the ads paid for it and I believe there is going to be $500 left over. March is when all the campers start coming back to Gettysburg. I have 25 different locations I will drop these at."

The Main Street manager said that Donna Bollinger was looking for some extra funds for a "History of Thurmont" film that the town had received a grant for a couple of years ago. Grinder said the extra funds ($500) might be permitted to go towards that project.

The library building, I think, will be the brick and mortar for Main Street," Grinder stated. "We’re talking about a mini-tour center there. It’s going to be the bow on the package for Main Street."

"We’re (also) going to be displaying art in there," she said. "We are one of two Main Streets in the State of Maryland out of 26 communities that do not have any arts on Main Street, so that is a big piece we are lacking.

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