The Town of Culver is moving ahead with its efforts to be designated a Main Street Community, but an additional tax may be needed for the town’s revitalization efforts to reach their full potential. The Indiana Main Street program helps communities boost their downtowns, by focusing on historic preservation, economic revitalization, and other areas. The program encourages private investment, but also makes communities eligible for various grants.
Last week, the town council passed a resolution supporting Culver Second Century’s plan to become a certified Indiana Main Street organization, to coordinate the effort. But in order to accomplish the goal of making Culver a destination for visitors and residents, Second Century President Dick Swennumson said the group will need between $40,000 and $60,000 in funding. “We have an absolute golden key with this one-percent food and beverage tax that is available to us because we’re under 20,000 people,” he said. “We can go to the legislature without having to go through Marshall County. Marshall County is not going to provide a whole lot of help for the kinds of things that we need to do to help solidify the existing businesses and attract new businesses.”
But Town Council President Ginny Bess Munroe said the proposed tax has met with some opposition. “We had a meeting on the food and beverage tax,” she explained. “The restaurant owners showed up for that and gave input, with the overwhelming majority saying no for various reasons. But we probably will need to reconvene at some point, with or without Main Street, the two groups maybe come together, maybe even have [the Culver Redevelopment Commission] at that type of meeting and talk about funding and talk about how we’re going to approach the year.”
She’s also calling for the various groups to discuss some of their goals, and identify areas where they might overlap. Culver plans to submit a formal application to the state, seeking an Indiana Main Street designation.