Scottville to end its Main Street program; manager position to end.

May 14, 2015

downtown scottvilleBy Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE — Scottville will be ending its Main Street program beginning July 1, which also means there will no longer be a Main Street manager. The Main Street/Downtown Development Authority board met Thursday morning and voted unanimously to end its affiliation with the state Main Street program. The board did not vote unanimously, though, to amend its 2014-2015 budget.

The program’s budget was severely impacted by what is being called an accounting input error from Mason County Equalization Department.  (see related story).

At question with the amended budget was the future of the Main Street manager. The proposed budget called for a part-time person who would concentrate on events. The budgeted amount for that position would be $11,200 or $10 an hour for a 20 hour maximum position.

Board member Alden Malackas questioned if having an events coordinator was the best use of that money and stated that he believed the focus should be economic development.

Current manager, Heather DeVries, told the board that she doubted a person trained in economic development skills would take on the job at that pay rate and those hours.

After lengthy discussion, the board voted 3-2 to approve the budget. Voting in favor of the budget were Chair Carla Mayer, City Manager Amy Williams and Nancy Sanford. Maleckas and board member Liz Pasco voted against.

The new budget, which takes place at the beginning of the new fiscal year, which is July 1, means that DeVries will be out of a job. One of the concerns of the board was the timing. Scottville Summerfest is scheduled for July 11 and, according to a consensus of the board requires a staff person to coordinate the event. The board asked DeVries if she would consider staying on a few more weeks at an hourly rate to help with Summerfest and to train a new individual.

The Main Street board will now become known as the Downtown Development Authority board. It will no longer be able to use the Main Street name in any way.

A formal resolution was passed by the board to inform Michigan Main Street that it will break its affiliation. The city commission must also pass a resolution.

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