Spring is here and there is vibrancy and energy about Gettysburg that is growing and contagious. It is a privilege to be part of this distinct and vibrant historic town that carries the responsibility of being good stewards of our history, while at the same time meeting the needs of a contemporary community.
This balancing act is encapsulated in Main Street Gettysburg’s mission and role as the economic arm of the Borough. Property owners are investing in our downtown because they can see the impact in the physical revitalization of the buildings, property values, street-scapes and transportation amenities; exemplified by the $7.5 million Steinwehr Avenue Revitalization Project that was coordinated by Main Street Gettysburg (MSG.)
The Baltimore Street Economic Development Revitalization Project is our community’s next vision to physically improve our downtown in a grand way. It is not only a $11 million face lift for the most important street in Gettysburg, but more importantly improves the safety and accessibility for our most vulnerable community members. Baltimore Street, rich with history, is the major pathway for anyone who travels downtown. It is lined with important community services such as the library, school, court house, and low-cost living facilities like the Fahnestock House.
To date, greater than $90,000 has been raised toward the South Street heritage lighting “pilot” block, completion of the Revitalization Master Plan and public relations costs associated with a project of this nature. Currently, we have a $500,000 goal for private match money and this community is positioned perfectly to achieve their vision.
Main Street Gettysburg is in fundraising mode initiating several initiatives to acquire both private funds and public funds. Troy Truax, Michael Baker International, educated the MSG board about the complexity of federal, state and local fundraising at their February board retreat. The MSG board, with the approval of the Baltimore Street community team, hired Troy to take that first big step for a federal funding request estimated at $2.3 million.
Approximately $500,000 of privately raised “match money” is required to achieve the $11 million goal. On April 13, the Polish Pottery Bingo raised $6,350 that was added to the existing $14,000 in reserves. A major fundraising campaign will be kicked-off on Friday, Oct. 4 called the “Long, Long, Long, Long Dinner.” More details to follow soon. In addition, spring-boarding off of the huge economic success of the 2018 Gettysburg Christmas Festival, the 2019 Gettysburg Christmas Festival is expanding and will have additional fundraising opportunities such as festival merchandise, for the Baltimore Street Revitalization project.
These revitalization projects and fundraising events require significant work behind the scenes gathering public support, coordinating grant funding and providing the project leadership necessary to achieve community-wide improvements. Grants rarely offer funding for operational costs. MSG is the only non-profit whose sole purpose is preserving, maintaining, and revitalizing downtown physically to make it safer, more attractive and livable for its residents, businesses, investors and visitors. We need your help to keep Main Street Gettysburg financially sustainable. Without MSG, who would initiate, raise funds and oversee the more complicated and higher cost community-wide town improvements?
As a community member, your financial commitment is important to sustain the Main Street Gettysburg organization. We hope that you can support our mission financially through a tax-deductible gift. To donate, look for a membership letter end of June, visit www.mainstreetgettysburg.org/donate or call 717-337-3491.