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City ready to give boost to downtown

The city will launch its new downtown promotion effort Tuesday, as a consultant from a national organization will visit Lockport to discuss its plans for hiring and using a full-time marketer.

A public meeting is set for noon Tuesday in City Hall to obtain the views of residents and downtown business people on how to bolster and promote downtown Lockport.

The city is committed to raising $50,000 by the end of the year to pay for the marketing person, while the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street Center provides guidance.

Lockport was one of three municipalities near the western end of the Erie Canal to be selected for the program arranged by the Western Erie Canal Alliance. The others were Albion and Lyons.

The city promised in its application to assemble an 11-member board of directors and hire the marketing person, using the $50,000 it must raise to pay the person chosen.

Mayor Michael W. Tucker said, "We're just starting to put the board together."

Community Development Director William J. Evert said the city has yet to advertise for the marketer.

The city and its development agency each have committed to spend $12,500 per year on the marketing effort in 2009, 2010 and 2011. But the remaining $25,000 needs to be raised locally.

"I feel confident we'll get the rest," Tucker said. "Billy [Evert] and his staff have been going up and down Main Street."

The National Trust plans a three-day orientation seminar for the promotion manager during the first week in December, according to a news release.

Its Main Street Center has been working on reviving the business districts of small communities around the nation for 25 years.

However, the National Trust consulting service lasts only for one year.

After that, the Canal Alliance is providing the assistance of Jayme Breschard of the Genesee Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council.


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