To the editor:
Leavenworth Main Street is absolutely thrilled that the Kansas Main Street Program received budgetary support for its reformation in the state budget. We appreciate the support the Kansas Legislature provided, including our local legislators, Rep. Jeff Pittman and Sen. Kevin Braun, as they worked with Gov. Laura Kelly to produce a budget that provides the tools necessary for positive growth in our many downtown communities across Kansas. These communities are gems that revitalize and connect our communities and our citizens.
Nationally, as well as within our local program in Leavenworth, this proven approach to revitalization of downtown communities is one of the most impactful economic strategies, dollar for dollar, that a community can pursue. By utilizing the structured four-point approach to revitalization in historic downtown Leavenworth, the First City of Kansas, our local program continues to flourish and provide merchants, building owners and the community with excellent resources to open and grow their businesses and opportunities to experience all that downtown offers.
Leavenworth Main Street has assisted in a minimum of $86 million in community reinvestment activities and economic development since its inception in 1995 (an average of $3.58 million annually), assists in the majority of entrepreneurial startups, consistently provides significant support for a number of business expansions, connects building owners with those desiring to purchase or lease, hosts more than 40 events annually that draw visitors from all over the world while initiating and completing projects that visually enhance the downtown community and Leavenworth in general.
To date in 2019, Leavenworth Main Street data collection indicates downtown public and private re-investment at $2.6 million and our program is working with many of these individuals that are investing in downtown. Four major buildings have been sold and are under renovation or getting ready to start. LMS was the catalyst driving these investments. LMS is about economic development and historic preservation.
Leavenworth Main Street is an active and vital link between business owners, building owners, local government and the community.
Wendy Scheidt is the executive director of Leavenworth Main Street.