The Mount Airy Downtown Inc. (MAD) board met on the morning of May 13, and the board was reminded by MAD President Ted Ashby of the upcoming meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners, when the board would hear public comment regarding the proposes expansion of the Municipal Service District and vote on the proposed expansion.
At a previous board of commissioners’ meeting, MAD board member Tom Webb presented details about the proposed expansion, including a slide show of how MAD could work with property owners within the proposed district area to improve the look of their property. The MAD board is responsible for approving applications for facade grants for improving facades of buildings within the Downtown Mount Airy Municipal Service District.
Webb reminded the MAD board that if the city commissioners approve the expanded Municipal Service District, they may have more facade grant applications from property owners in the expanded areas.
Facade grants are available for up to $3,000 each, for a total of $12,000 allocated in the MAD budget. The board also discussed expanding facade grants to include the side and rear facades, and possibly increasing the total allocation for the grants, which the design committee would discuss at its next committee meeting in June.
Ashby said the board is still examining the official contract between MAD and the city, which he described as a “complex agreement” and said they would have something to present to the board by the end of the fiscal year, at the end of June, to help the MAD board move forward for the rest of 2014 and into 2015.
Main Street Coordinator Lizzie Morrison said there were no new facade grant submissions, but said Dock Merritt with Mount Airy Cyclery was finalizing the details about awning and paint color, and would have his application ready by the next MAD meeting in June.
The MAD nominating committee recommended MAD Board President Ted Ashby and MAD Treasurer Joe Reid serve another term. Both Ashby and Reid are eligible to serve a three-year term as president and treasurer. The recommendations were approved by the board.
Morrison invited the board to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the downtown mini-park on May 19 at 11 a.m., at the corner of Oak Street and N. Main Street.
Morrison took feedback from board members about the Fiddle Crawl Reveal event, where the fiddle sculptures were unveiled before placement on the sidewalks throughout downtown Mount Airy. Board member Amy Slate said she would like to see the fiddles revealed before the descriptions of the fiddles were read, as well as a better way for those who attend to see and meet the artists. Other board members suggested displaying the fiddles on the stage, having the artists stand next to their fiddles, and asking the artists to wear name tags.
The fiddles will be on display throughout downtown Mount Airy until October, and Morrison announced that she was working with Rogers Realty and Auction Company Auctioneer Dustin Rogers, who has agreed to assist with the Fiddle Crawl Auction at 7 p.m. on Oct. 24 at Old North State Winery.
Downtown Business Association (DBA) President Phil Marsh and DBA Treasurer Jennie Lowry presented a DBA update to the board, including details about downtown’s Farm Fest on May 17 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the Tractor Parade on May 16 at 6 p.m.
Marsh said Farm Fest would be larger than in previous years, with Farm Fest Organizer Gail Hiatt arranging a “street-full” of vendors, exhibitors, demonstrators, and children’s activities.
New additions this year, Marsh added, are a children’s train ride that will travel through the street, pony rides, a mechanical bull, a quilt show with voting and a raffle, and multiple organizations participating as well as Surry Animal Rescue and Surry Animal Hospital with a discount rabies shot clinic. Lowry added that they were holding a watermelon seed spitting contest and cake walks every hour, as well as music throughout the day and square dancing.
During the upcoming cruise-ins, which are the third Saturday each month, beginning in June, Lowry and Marsh said the DBA was working on a “Saturday Stay Late” initiative to encourage downtown businesses to stay open until the end of the cruise-ins at 8 p.m.
Ashby reminded the board that work plan forms distributed during the recent meeting with Liz Parham of the North Carolina Main Street Program would be due by the new fiscal year. The MAD committees have been working on the strategies the team presented, and would have a public document ready for presentation after the June MAD meeting.
Reach Jessica Johnson at 719-1933 and on Twitter @MountAiryJess.