Lamar’s Main Street Program Tops Other Colorado Towns

Main-Street-of-the-Year-Award-WebShawna Hodge, Executive Director for Lamar Partnership Incorporated, announced that the city has won first place for the 2014 Colorado Main Street of the Year. She said the selection was made by the Colorado Main Street Advisory Board and announced earlier this month by the State Department of Local Affairs.  The judging was based on two criteria:  a summary of Lamar’s program year of accomplishments based on the Main Street program’s Four Point Approach and the number of facebook votes.  Hodge said, “Lamar was in competition against Steamboat Springs and ‘The Cliff’s’ communities of Silvercliff and Westcliff.  An award was presented to Hodge and City Administrator, John Sutherland, last Wednesday by DOLA’s Executive Director, Reeves Brown in Fort Collins.

Lamar’s accomplishments as noted by the Main Street program’s Four Point Approach were:

Met the qualifying criteria and Awarded National Main Street Designation
Launched a plastic and e-waste recycling center that also serves as a program fundraiser

Used the services of the Preservation Main Street Architect for four schematics and rehab projects
Partnered with LiveWell Prowers County/Healthy Places Initiative to create a new Parks/Recreation Master Plan which includes downtown Lamar

Hosted the State of Colorado American Legion Convention
Hosted the 1st Annual Hotter than Hell Music/Art Festival

Economic Restructuring:
Purchased vacant downtown property through Urban Renewal Authority and initiated the students from the University of Denver, Colorado Center for Community Development for the design and plan for a new outdoor event/parking/community gathering spot – Lamar Central Plaza.

Hodge added, “The biggest part of the award will be the recognition of Lamar across the state from our fellow Main Street communities, all the facebook votes and the selection from the Main Street Advisory Board.” She added that, “Our program didn’t start out as fast as I had hoped, but just recently, it’s really starting to take formation.”

The other notable achievement Hodge outlined was for Lamar to be designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Lamar was one of the communities selected for the accomplishments of the past year since it was accepted into the national program in 2010. Lamar is one of only eight communities listed in the state for acceptance into the Main Street Program.

By Russ Baldwin

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