BY DEAN COUSINO
The City of Milan’s downtown could be getting a shot in the arm soon.
The city was one of a dozen Michigan communities recently chosen to take part in the Michigan Main Street associate level program in 2015. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority offers the program to create opportunities for redevelopment, placemaking and economic growth in downtowns across the state.
As part of its agreement with the author-ity, the city agrees to receive training over the next year on the basics of its four-point program: organization, promotion, economic restructuring and design. The training will be conducted by staff from the authority and other communities that have completed the program.
Milan will focus its attention on revitalizing its downtown business district, said Jade Smith, city administrator.
There are more than 20 businesses currently operating downtown, he noted.
One of the first steps in the program will be forming focus groups with stakeholders and property owners downtown. That could happen sometime in February, Mr. Smith said.
Representatives from the authority will visit Milan soon and begin putting together a plan for the city. The city’s downtown development authority also will play a key role in coming up with the plan, he said.
“ We have a lot of momentum going,” Mr. Smith said.
More information about the Michigan Main Street program is available at www. michiganmainstreetcenter.com.