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Community Encouraged to Contribute to Clawson Main Street Project

'We really want people to come out and learn how they can make downtown the best it can possibly be,' DDA director says. The second of four training seminars is Thursday.

to join the Main Street Oakland County program, an economic development program that focuses on preserving downtown’s historic and unique character.

To teach the community about the program, four information sessions were planned with the second one, on economic restructuring, scheduled for Thursday.

“Everyone has an interest in downtown because if it’s doing well that improves our image and our economic base,” DDA Director Joan Horton explained. “So far it’s been the DDA board working on the program and we really want the community to be involved, so they can’t say, ‘Why did they do that downtown?’”

Horton said the goal of the four seminars is to get the community engaged in the four committees that make up Clawson’s Main Street Oakland County program: design, organization, promotion and economic restructuring. Each seminar explains how people can get involved with each one.

At the first session, on organization, Horton said more than 30 people attended and many filled out applications to volunteer.

“I think people thought the program was cool and we want more people to get excited about it, too,” Horton said, emphasizing that even volunteers who can only donate an hour of their time are welcome. “Having all those people come out was fantastic and I’d be delighted if we had the same next week.”

The topic of Thursday’s session is the Economic Restructuring committee, which is focused on strengthening the city's economic base through attracting and keeping businesses downtown, and is responsible for the branding of the four corners logo that’s displayed downtown. Ron Campbell, Oakland County’s preservation architect, and Jeff Siegler, director of revitalization for Heritage Ohio, are scheduled to speak at the meeting.

“It’s nice to have people from out of state and out of the community come and speak because they will be talking about what has worked in their communities,” Horton said. “Since we want people to understand how the program can work in Clawson and what they can do to help it work better, the speakers’ experiences will help explain that.”

The seminar will take place 6-8 p.m. Thursday in the Community Room. Pizza will be served during a break. The final two informational sessions are scheduled for July 12 (design) and July 25 (promotion), also in the Community Room.

“MSOC is really a community-based program, so we really want people to come out and learn how they can make downtown the best it can possibly be,” Horton said.

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