Nevada establishes state Main Street program |

Nevada establishes state Main Street program

A flower basket hangs near the Stratton Center in downtown Gardnerville as part of the Main Street Gardnerville's efforts to beautify the area.
Special to The R-C |

Carson Valley is the birthplace of Nevada’s Main Street Program with Gardnerville and Minden leading the way.

However, with the approval of a state Main Street Program by the Nevada Legislature, they will probably have company.

A bill creating a Nevada Main Street Program within the Office of Economic Development was signed by the governor on June 8.

The bill sets aside $350,000 for operation of the state program and to provide grants to local programs, under Assembly Bill 417, sponsored by Assemblywoman Heidi Swank.

“We’ve had a main street program operating for the past eight years, without support from state,” Gardnerville Town Manager Tom Dallaire testified. “This will allow us that extra link at the national level.”

Connie Billington, executive director of Minden’s program, said the state program will be valuable help.

“We’re a year and a half old, and we are struggling,” she said. “It would be nice to have a state program behind us.”

Douglas County lobbyist and former Carson City Finance Director Mary Walker said she oversaw the capital’s downtown redevelopment in the late 1990s when there were 25 empty businesses.

“We had a local mainstreet program that kind of disbanded a few years after we got everything going,” she said. “If we had the structure from the state, it could have revitalized that program and kept it going in Carson City.”

Representatives from the Nevada League of Cities, the Nevada Association of Counties, Las Vegas, Reno, Sparks, Wells and other communities spoke in favor of the bill.