On July 26, the DSA held it’s annual meeting! Jenny Loomis, Board President introduced our newest director, Jami Kessner and confirmed the following officers:
President, Jenny Loomis of Farmers Coop; Vice President, Peg Martin of Brittain World Travel; Secretary, Jim Mowry of Crowley Fleck ; and Treasurer, Megan Cook of DA Davidson. Returning board of directors include: John & Robby Smith, Chris Carroll, Steve & Shannon Kuzara, Jay Martinson, Matt Westkott, Jeannie Weissman, Kathy Lundberg, and Spencer Kraft.
DSA Overview – 2016-2017:
For the past thirty one years, the Downtown Sheridan Association continues to maintain the high standard of performance to which the Main Street program guidelines require for continued Certified Main Street status. The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by the Wyoming Main Street Program, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program’s application of the Main Street Four Point Approach® to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as developing a mission, fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking economic progress and preserving historic buildings.
To that end, the following committees meet monthly and sometimes weekly to discuss and implement the following programs and projects:
- Historic District Promotions Committee: “Promotes the downtown. The committee set a strategic goal to increase communication and advocate downtown by instituting a block leader program where members of the Promotions committee go out and meet with businesses to inform them of what is happening and find out how we can better advocate for their needs as well. A complete inventory of businesses with contact information has been critical in connecting businesses with the monthly projects and events. We have discussed the advantage of extended shopping hours and placemaking in downtown throughout the summer months. To help promote all downtown businesses and highlight those that have extended hours, a flier with business hours has been placed at all hotels, the Chamber office, Visitor’s Center as well as at the DSA office. Currently, we are exploring placemaking on Smith Street Alley.
- The Design Committee works on downtown design and layout including guidelines and are currently working with three more businesses who wish to take advantage of the architectural/interior design consulting grant fund. We just recently helped the Elks Lodge acquire the Historic Architect Funds from the Alliance for Historic Wyoming. While we consider future funding for the building renovations, the Elks is working on a business plan and assessing bids for electrical and other necessary upgrades. So far, the Elks, Mark Murphy,Dan’s building, Cowboy Café, Kilpatrick Creations, D&J Coins and Matt Groshart have all taken advantage of the Design Consultation grant. The Design Committee is also working with the other DSA committees to update our downtown building inventory. We will finish the first two phases of Wayfinding which were funded through a Wyoming Business Council grant and will apply for additional funds next year. Finally, we just completed an historic building tour available through the Travel Stories Mobile App! The tour was available online just in time for the tourist summer season.
- Economic Vitality Committee helps find financing for economic development projects and has worked hard this year to assist with the DDA, developed business resources for new businesses and contacts to reach these resources including funding opportunities and projects from the Wyoming Business Council and University of Wyoming Business Incubator. The economic development campaign was a huge success in 2016 and has been funded through 2017. The committee continues working hard to promote more downtown building renovation with our downtown building permit incentives and a new small business, low interest loan. The committee will continue to market the campaign and plans to attend each 3rd Thursday event, encouraging interest and inspiring new development in downtown! Through the creation of a downtown directory website, we continue work on an active inventory list of available spaces downtown so we can assist in connecting building owners with possible renters for their businesses thus increasing our business atmosphere downtown. This committee is also committed to helping businesses who are open late and on weekends throughout the summer and are considering placemaking downtown, which would include temporary closure for food trucks, entertainment and pedestrian traffic on a regular schedule…beyond the Farmers’ Market and 3rd Thursday events.
- The Organization Committee which oversees the internal policies and activities of DSA worked hard to build and strengthen our organization policies and procedures including volunteer development and recruitment, funding streams, as well as budgeting. They are currently working on a 5-year funding plan.
- The Sheridan Downtown Development Authority(SDDA), was created to enhance the DSA’s mission to ensure the historic downtown’s economic prosperity. It was resolved that the DSA will be the working agency responsible for leading Sheridan’s downtown work plan, with support from the SDDA for projects specifically focused on Economic Development, and creating an entity for leveraging public and private investment. The possible projects were identified as follows:
- Downtown Plaza, Riverwalk or Riverdeck of Goose Creek
- Update Parking Study
- Look for downtown parking opportunities/ future possible parking garage
- Downtown Student Housing
- Bike Sharing
- Downtown Hotel
They will continue to work on a mission statement as well as ways to fund the master plan projects.
- Flowers on Main Street DSA staff, board members and over 20 other volunteers, met at 7am on May 21st to transplant over 1,100 seedlings into approximately 237 flower baskets and hang them on the Main Street light poles. The DSA is solely responsible for funding the cost of the seeds, soil, baskets, lamp pole brackets and maintenance which includes daily watering and fertilizing May through September.
- Third Thursday Street Festival The first two festivals were a smashing success. The cooperation between DSA, the City and over 150 vendors was awesome. The committee will continue to meet until the final event on September 21st. This downtown event brings local & regional vendors, food trucks, entertainers and thousands of locals as well as visitors to our Main Street for a four-hour evening of food, shopping, entertainment and family fun! A small number of City and DSA staff plus over 50 volunteers are needed throughout the summer to help close Main Street, set up the stage and food court, police the event and help tear down tables, chairs, tents, signs and sandbags needed to make this work!
- Sheridan Farmers Market This year, the first market kicked off at the first 3rd Thursday on June 15th and will continue every Thursday night on Grinnell Plaza through August. This is a two-hour event with local artisans, food growers, producers and musicians showcasing their wares and talent. The 13 markets attract over 1,000 locals and visitors every week. This event could not happen without our local market sponsors and a generous number of volunteers including Clarke McClung, Donald Legerski and the 4H Youth who help local vendors with set up and tear down every week!
- Banners on Main Street With the help of the Wyoming Business Council – Main Street Program, we purchased 34 Sheridan “Naturally” banners, 24 – 3rd Thursday Street Festival banners, 24 – Christmas Stroll banners, 18 – Farmers’ Market banners and 12 – Wine Fest banners. We also purchased over $3,000 worth of lamppost banner hardware and $1,000 of new netting. The DSA office now manages the scheduling and hanging of all banners throughout the year.
We continue to participate with other community organizations that have similar but different missions in our community such as the Sheridan Public Arts Committee, Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce, Sheridan Travel & Tourism, Forward Sheridan, North Main Association, Sheridan College and the WYO Theater. We have participated with the Economic Development Task Force on several projects and initiatives including the Synchronist Program, Business Retention and Expansion, and promoting the new community brand. These organizations add dimension and heart to our mission and we have greatly appreciated teaming up with each of them to conquer these projects and coordinate our opportunities.
In the next year, we will review our strategic plan and assess our goals, plan new projects, attend a board of directors training and review our mission statement as well as our bylaws. Keeping up with the economic landscape and Main Street trends, we hope to help our downtown businesses and property owners assess how to keep up with the times and continue to bring folks downtown to live, work, play and shop.
The DSA will continue to look for opportunities to promote our beautiful historic downtown. Our focus is to make Main Street a destination for local and tourists alike by hosting 26 downtown events in our community and we thank our many volunteers, vendors, sponsors, and staff for making events like the Third Thursday Street Festival, Sheridan Farmers Market, Wild West Wine Fest, Goose Creek Cup, Hunting For Bucks in October, Wise Men’s Night Out, Pot O’ Gold, A-MAY-zing Places Passport month and Crazy Days Celebration Sale a great success. These events create a community stronghold where people can come together to celebrate life in Sheridan and could not be done without the tremendous effort from our volunteers, community partners and especially the board members of DSA. Our volunteers help us in every capacity at an average of 2,500 hours per year with an approximate value of $50,000.00.