WAKEENEY – Governor Laura Kelly visited WaKeeney today to announce its selection as the latest community added to the Kansas Main Street program, a Kansas Department of Commerce initiative to preserve and revitalize downtown districts across the state. This brings the total number of Designated Main Street communities in Kansas to 36.
The Kansas Main Street program was originally launched in 1985. The Kelly Administration revived the program in 2019 after it was shut down in 2012 and has since welcomed 11 additional communities to the program.
“I congratulate all who worked to ensure WaKeeney was added to the list of cities in the Main Street program – it is a rigorous process and a testament to the pride of this community,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “The Kansas Main Street program helps rural communities like WaKeeney bring back jobs and continue being places where future generations want to live and raise families.”
The Kansas Main Street program, originally launched in 1985, has helped dozens of mostly rural communities work toward maintaining and enhancing the viability of their downtown districts. The program offers participating communities technical assistance and a network of peers and support to share best practices and resources. Communities interested in earning designation in the program participated in a competitive application process beginning in December 2022.
“Our state’s newest Designated Kansas Main Street community will make a wonderful addition to this proven downtown revitalization program,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “WaKeeney already has demonstrated collaborative success in various community projects, and I’m pleased to welcome them into our state’s expanding Main Street family.”
“We are excited for the selection of WaKeeney to the Main Street Program,” Trego County Chamber of Commerce President Max Dirks said. “A lot of people put a lot of hard work into the application process, and we are looking forward to seeing the fruits of this labor in WaKeeney’s future.”
The Kansas Main Street program is affiliated with the National Main Street Center. While there are no federal funds provided directly to Main Street communities, designated cities are eligible for training and technical assistance designed to help them become self-sufficient in downtown revitalization.
“I want to join the Governor and Lieutenant Governor in congratulating WaKeeney as a new Kansas Main Street community,” Kansas Main Street Director Scott Sewell said. “They have demonstrated a tremendous amount of support and commitment to ensuring their downtown remains a healthy and important part of the community.”
For more information on the Kansas Main Street program, click here, or contact Scott Sewell, Director of Kansas Main Street, at [email protected].
Photos from today’s announcement for media use can be found below.