North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Arlington accepted into Main Street program

 

January 10, 2018 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Part of the historical Arlington downtown area that local officials hope to revitalize.

Arlington's downtown has been accepted into the Washington Main Street Affiliate Program, which local officials hope will help with revitalization of the area.

The program focuses on improving the economy and look of main street and downtown areas throughout the state.

They provide resources and opportunities to meet with other local representatives to build strategies and ideas.

Other local communities in the program include Oak Harbor, Mt. Vernon, Wenatchee and Bellingham.

Washington Main Street provides "training and conferences to get more knowledge on how to build a revitalized and sustainable downtown," said Sarah Lopez, community revitalization project manager with the city of Arlington.

Lopez said it was a "stepping off point" for the city as they continue with their goals to improve their historic downtown area.

"Our goal is to preserve and revitalize, mostly to revitalize, but we know that there will be a historical aspect as well," said Lopez.

The Washington Main Street program is run through the Washington State Department of Historic Preservation.

"The information they provide will help us identify if we have any historical locations as well," said Lopez. "We're excited to learn more about that."

The city of Arlington applied for the program in October and received word in December that they would be accepted.

"It looks like a great program," said Lopez.

The Main Street annual conference is scheduled for April this year and Lopez said the recently formed Main Street committee will be attending that.

The committee and the Washington Main Street program are both part of ongoing efforts to revitalize the economy of the Stillaguamish Valley.

Those initiatives began after the Oso landslide in 2014, when Darrington and Arlington officials worked together to create an economic plan going forward.

"We still have our North Stillaguamish Revitalization Plan," said Lopez. "This year we're going to prioritize acting on some of the goals of that plan, and we've formed the Main Street committee to help focus on the downtown here."

Those goals were sharpened and furthered the last two years as both Darrington and Arlington participated in the national America's Best Communities competition, in which they were semi-finalists.

Now that the contest is over, Arlington officials hope that those goals and initiatives will continue.

"We are following up from after the America's Best Communities]competition with our goals of economic revitalization," said Lopez. "We want to keep on that path."

More information about the Washington Main Street program is available at their website at http://www.preservewa.org/programs/mainstreet.

 

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