Town Hall meeting was first step in new plan for Brookfield's downtown

Angie Talken
Linn County Leader

A recent town hall meeting for Main Street Brookfield was the first step in developing a plan for the city's downtown. 

Ben White, program and outreach specialist with Missouri Main Street Connection, said while he and other Missouri Main Street staff will help work alongside Brookfield volunteers, members of the Brookfield Area Growth Partnership (BAGP) and others, the development of ideas and establishment of a volunteer base is up to the residents of Brookfield. 

"We are not here to tell you what to do, but help guide as the town develops a plan and volunteer base," White, who is the past director of Main Street Chillicothe said. 

In December, BAGP and Main Street Missouri announced that BAGP had received a two-year cost-sharing Community Empowerment Grant that provides training, mentoring, and technical services to revitalization programs in Missouri’s historic commercial districts. The grant is provided by Missouri Main Street Connection, Inc. (MMSC).

According to a press release, the goal of the grant is the development of a sustainable, volunteer-based organization that will carry out an economic development program based on the preservation of historic assets in the downtown, using the Main Street Four-Point Approach® to Revitalization.

About 40 people attended the town hall meeting including city leaders and staff, members and staff from BAGP, Brookfield Area Chamber of Commerce, high school students, businesses leaders and volunteers. 

Keith Winge, community development director for MMSC, also lead the presentation and discussed revitalizing the businesses, support MMSC can offer to help businesses owners and plans other cities have used and found successful in the overall economic and historical rehabilitation and revitalization along their Main Streets. 

Economic development, Winge said should include business relations, development of new businesses in existing spaces and revitalization of existing space and features that make Brookfield unique. 

Following a presentation from White and Winge the 40 people in attendance broke into small groups to discuss their ideas of what Brookfield's Main Street needed to once again thrive.

Ideas were then presented and included, installation of a median down Main Street, trash cans, more activities aimed at older youth, a continuation of flowers, holiday decorations and general beautification, incorporation of public art, outside games, murals, "wayfinding signs," and the continuation and growth of annual events. 

For more information, or to volunteer, For more information contact Becky Cleveland at 660-258-7278 or bcleveland@sbcglobal.net. 

About 40 people attended the town hall meeting for Main Street Brookfield at the Elks last week.