CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield Revitalization Corp., (CRC) has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street Center®.
Each year, the National Trust and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street® programs that have built strong revitalization organizations and demonstrate their ability in using the Main Street Four-point Approach® methodology for strengthening their local economy and protecting their historic buildings.
“We congratulate this year’s nationally accredited Main Street programs for meeting our established performance standards,” said Doug Loescher, director of the National Trust Main Street Center. “Accredited Main Street programs are meeting the challenges of the recession head on and are successfully using a focused, comprehensive revitalization strategy to keep their communities vibrant and sustainable.”
The CRC’s performance is annually evaluated by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, (PDC) which works in partnership with the National Trust Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet 10 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.
The CRC is operated under a board of directors, four subcommittees and staff that includes a Main Street manager, Kellie Truman and summer intern, Chris Renaud. The Board of Directors include: Dr. Keely Casteel, President; Mike Errigo, Vice President; Patricia Kavelak, Secretary; Mark Breakey, Treasurer; Bill Wood, Bob Rishel, Eric Cummings, Katie Miknis, Leslie Stott, Rob Bozovich, Rob Swales and Mayor Jim Schell. CRC committee volunteers include, but are not limited to: Brock Shaffer, Heather Blum, Holly Bloom, Ian Aughinbaugh, Jamie Straub, Joe Kelly, Karen Miller, Matt Checchio, Mikella Graham and Steve Albert.
“Downtowns have a special place in the minds of Americans. We have found memories of colorful parades, shopping trips spent gazing at holiday storefront displays and pleasant strolls along bustling pedestrian-crowded avenues,” stated a press release issued by the CRC.
“For many communities, these are not mere memories but a continuing way of life within vibrant downtowns.”
The CRC works to ensure that downtown Clearfield and surrounding neighborhoods remain vital places to live and work. The CRC implements revitalization through the Four-point Main Street Approach: promotion, design, economic restructuring and organization.
Over the past three years, the design committee has organized a façade improvement program that has helped renovate or improve 36 storefronts in Clearfield’s business district. This constitutes approximately 22 percent of the storefronts in the Clearfield Main Street District. In addition, $105,794.25 of the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) facade monies have been awarded to these businesses, spurring a total private investment of $286,982.66. This translates into a private-public dollar ratio of 2.71:1. Since the program’s inception, a private investment in the Main Street District on projects not funded through the CRC has totaled $9.8 million.
In addition to a successful facade improvement program, the CRC has had several successful events, including the Fall Festival and 5K Pumpkin Run/Walk. Last year, almost 200 people participated in the race, which highly succeeded the CRC’s goal of 50 participants. Participants not only included locals to Clearfield, but also visitors from all over Pennsylvania and even some from out-of-state. The majority of the participants stayed directly afterwards and attended the Fall Festival, in which Market and Third Street closed down so vendors could line the streets. There were 50 vendors with the majority being local, civic organizations fundraising for the betterment of their programs. The festival incorporated entertainment, children’s games, food and fun.
The CRC looks forward to hosting this event again Saturday, Oct. 13.
“These events, along with many others, create a sense of place increasingly lost to suburban sprawl. It is the CRC’s motivation to retain or regain community spirit and a sense of place so that our citizens desire to work in a place they are proud to call home,” the press release stated.
Casteel added, “We are excited the CRC has once again obtained this designation, as not every community does. From the beginning, PDC told us it takes 10 years before towns start seeing true change, which Clearfield is in year three. The CRC encourages and celebrates the best of the people, places and spirit of Clearfield. We strive to inspire, educate, enable and empower our small town about revitalization.
“That’s what the CRC does; it’s a grass-roots movement to better the community for the present and future generations. In 1966, Clearfield was a true ‘All-America City’ and we want to strive for that designation again.”
Casteel continues, “We have a long way to go, but a palpable momentum is here. Positive changes in downtown facades and events are happening. And more importantly, people are engaged. Every single person in our community is a stakeholder of revitalization.”
Casteel thanked everyone involved with the CRC. She said the board is only a part of the revitalization process. She said that Truman gets to make sure revitalization happens every day in downtown Clearfield. In addition, she said the subcommittees turn vision into action, and the stakeholders of Clearfield get to enjoy being part of it all.
“To be successful, it takes an entire community coming together with the mindset of bettering itself. We are thankful and blessed we have that here in Clearfield. We encourage anyone with an interest and passion for revitalization to join us,” said Casteel.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America’s historic places to enrich our future. www.PreservationNation.org. Established in 1980, the National Trust Main Street Center® helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts. Working in more than 2,200 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 30 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $53.6 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 448,835 net new jobs and 104,961 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 229,164 buildings, leveraging an average of $18 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.
Volunteer positions are available at every level of the CRC organization. For more information, find us at www.DiscoverClearfield.com or contact Main Street Manager, Kellie Truman at 765-6000.