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City, Main Street receive state awards

The Dalles Main Street program brochure “Join the effort,” at right, received the “Best Community Education” award from the the state Main Street program.

The Dalles Main Street program brochure “Join the effort,” at right, received the “Best Community Education” award from the the state Main Street program.

The city of Dalles and The Dalles Main Street have been recognized for their ongoing partnership to revitalize the downtown blocks.

Main Street has also received an award for its new promotional publication that provides an overview of its diverse programs.

The "Outstanding Partnership" award was accepted by The Dalles Mayor Steve Lawrence and Matthew Klebes, director of local Main Street program during the Oregon Main Street Evening of Excellence celebration in Astoria on Sept. 15.

Klebes was also given the “Best Community Education” prize for a booklet the nonprofit organization designed to address “What is Main Street?” questions.

The partnership award is given to a community which demonstrates how two or more organizations have effectively collaborated on a specific downtown preservation project or on-going revitalization effort.

"We are so pleased to recognize the deep and meaningful partnership that exists between the city and The Dalles Main Street," said Sheri Stuart, Oregon Main Street coordinator. "Many cities help launch local main street efforts, but in The Dalles, the city and the local program continue to strengthen this relationship, providing both financial and philosophical support for on-going downtown revitalization efforts."

The Dalles partnership began with funding and organizational support needed to bring several AmeriCorps Resource Assistance for Rural Environments volunteers to town and gradually increasing their scope of work.

Klebes was hired as the first executive director of the program, and the partnership has continued to develop with additional funding for projects such as the Business Retention and Expansion program as well as bringing an additional RARE volunteer onboard.

As a result of the partnership, visitors and community members can now find parklets, wayfinding kiosks, bike racks, holiday lights, and other improvements in the downtown core.

Several facade projects have also been recently completed and interiors are being renovated with assistance from the program.

"Perhaps most importantly are the additional communication, support, and coordination of efforts and projects amongst the multiple nonprofits, city, business owners, property owners, and community citizens that this partnership has achieved," said Klebes.

Main Street’s promotional booklet was inspired by the need to address a common question about what the organization is all about, said Klebes.

He said the idea came from a booklet produced by a community in Washington. He designed the booklet, which was approved by the promotion committee and finalized and polished by Optimist Printers, a downtown The Dalles printing company.

The booklet addresses Main Street’s mission, committee accomplishments, project highlights, funding sources and spending breakdown, and how to support the program.

"We are very proud of the booklet," said Klebes. "We gave copies to each city councilor and the city manager, and gave copies to our board and several downtown businesses. We also distribute the booklets during events and festivals."

"This is one of the nicest organizational promotional pieces I have ever seen," said Stuart.

"We are happy to give this award to The Dalles Main Street and to use the booklet as a model for communities throughout Oregon,” she added.


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