Residents input needed at Brookfield Town Hall

Town Hall 5:30 p.m., Wednesday at Elks Club

Angie Talken
Linn County Leader

Brookfield area residents are asked to come to a Town Hall meeting starting at 5:30 p.m., April 7 at the Brookfield Elks Lodge to voice their ideas for a long-term plan for Main Street Brookfield.

In November 2020 Becky Cleveland, director of the Brookfield Area Growth Partnership (BAGP) and other community organizers were notified that Brookfield has been chosen to become a Main Street Community. 

By becoming a Main Street Community like 160 others across the state including Brunswick, Trenton, Marceline and Chillicothe, Brookfield’s organization will focus on Main Street’s four-point approach focusing on the vitality of downtown, economic development and the preservation of history. 

According to Main Street’s website, “The success of the Main Street® approach to revitalization is based on its comprehensive nature. By carefully integrating four points into a practical downtown management strategy, the local Main Street® program will produce fundamental changes in a community's economic base, while preserving its historic commercial buildings and the community's unique heritage. The goal is to create a sustainable organization that functions as the revitalization leader in the community.”

The mission of Main Street states “Missouri Main Street Connection is the leading statewide nonprofit organization devoted to preservation-based economic development. Through the Main Street America™ movement and our partners, we empower community revitalization by celebrating, supporting, and sustaining Missouri historic commercial districts in both rural and urban settings.”

The Town Hall meeting scheduled for Wednesday is the next step in the process. "This meeting is for anybody who is interested in Main Street," Cleveland said. "Main Street's business and building owners, citizens, anyone who cares about the future of Main Street should plan on coming."

The meeting is scheduled to last two hours and those in attendance should plan to stay for the entire meeting, which will include an explanation of the Main Street Missouri program and grant; fundraising information; Main Street program overview; break out session to gather information on community goals; establishing a volunteer database and information about the next steps and process. 

Cleveland strongly encourages area youth to attend the event, as she hopes Brookfield can be one of the first Main Street groups in the state to develop a strong youth-based branch of the organization. 

While there is a "template" for future plans, Cleveland said, which came from discussion several years ago when Brookfield was designated as a Dream Community, including fixing sidewalks, installation of medians through downtown and more, citizen input is vital to the success and long-term changes in town.

"We hope to build off of the momentum we have from the Twin Parks project but really need input and ideas from residents," Cleveland said. "We want to hear the ideas, and strengthen our volunteer base."