UPTOWN FEEDBACK NEEDED Mt. Lebanon’s Commercial Districts Office is working with the Mt. Lebanon Partnership on renewing our Main Street status. The Main Street program is a national effort, managed in Pennsylvania by the Department of Community and Economic Development. Mt. Lebanon is one of only 16 Main Street communities in Pennsylvania. The designation is good for five years.
The process requires an extensive application to both the state Keystone Community Main Street program and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center.
Part of this year’s application process is a Main Street Perception Survey, where people answer questions about Uptown to help the office and the partnership focus their energies on how to best administer the Main Street program. The survey is available on Mt. Lebanon’s website, www.mtlebanon.org. The application must be submitted in December, so Milliron would like to have all the survey data by late November.
In order to secure Main Street status, communities need to meet 10 goals:
• demonstrate strong community support for revitalization from private and public sectors
• develop a comprehensive vision and mission statement
• form a long-range work plan
• keep a historic preservation aesthetic
• maintain an adequate operating budget
• have an active board of directors and committees
• have a paid professional program manager
• conduct training for staff and volunteers
• report key statistics
• maintain membership in the National Trust Main Street Network
Having Main Street Status puts Mt. Lebanon in a more favorable position to secure façade grants, redevelopment money and other funding sources, says Milliron. Also, being a Main Street community makes it easier to apply for temporary liquor licenses for special events, such as First Fridays, UltraParty and the Artists’ Market.
SAFETY STATS During summer and early fall, Mt. Lebanon Police Department conducted a traffic safety initiative in the Washington Road business district, encouraging lawful behavior by both drivers and pedestrians. Mt. Lebanon was one of seven communities in Pennsylvania to receive the grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
The $43,690 program concluded in October.
Police currently are evaluating the data they collected during the initiative and will make recommendations to the commission about traffic safety measures that might be implemented in the future.
GAMING GRANT FUNDS UPTOWN IMPROVEMENTS
Mt. Lebanon has received a $200,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Gaming and Economic Development Fund. Casinos in Pennsylvania are required to allocate a portion of their profits to the fund, which finances economic development and community improvement projects. The $200,000 will fund part of Mt. Lebanon’s Uptown Public Space Improvement Program, and will replace sidewalks and lighting in the Washington Road business district.
The Public Space Improvement Program has two components, says Commercial Districts Manager Eric Milliron. The basics—sidewalks and lights—will be replaced. But plan also has a placemaking component, which will brand Washington Road with distinctive signage echoing the art deco style of the Mt. Lebanon Municipal Building and other features such as public sculpture and artwork will enhance the sense of place. Plans are still in the works.