March 10, 2011 |

Downtown group mulls district lines

The downtown revitalization committee last week discussed physical boundaries of an improvement district.

The group’s next meeting is 5:30 p.m. March 31 at the Rusty Compass coffee shop on Main Street.

The district is the area that would get first priority by the committee and the area in which property owners would qualify for tax incentives or other assistance for improving properties.

The committee informally agreed to an area from Front Street to Allen Road and between Dalton and Mission streets, said group leader Lenise Henderson Fontenot, though there may be more discussion.

Concerns included that too large a district might result in nothing getting done.

Member Brenda Jones said the group should address the face of the old elementary school and suggested a mural campaign. Jones also said there’s a possibility of borough funding for improvements like paint and flowers this year.

The group also reviewed a list of repairs and upgrades around town they’ll be seeking. If the Haines Borough doesn’t complete those, group members said they should find a way to get them done.

Part of the effort is creating a sustained campaign to encourage residents and businesses to shop locally.

Chamber of Commerce president Ned Rozbicki has been spearheading the campaign, which will be rolled out in April. This week Rozbicki was approaching community groups and businesses about donating to the campaign or writing letters or radio commentaries in support of shopping at home.

The committee is an informal group that includes downtown business and property owners and their representatives, as well as Chamber of Commerce members. Henderson Fontenot is a Main Street coffee shop owner who also has a tour business.

She led the Chamber of Commerce’s Haines 2005 program in 1995.