Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
August 23, 2016 1:00 a.m.
Jeff Kurtz, Executive Director of the Fernandina Beach Main Street program, updated city residents and commissioners at the Fernandina Beach City Commission’s (FBCC) August 16, 2016 meeting on recent accomplishments and activities underway.
During a brief slide presentation, Kurtz credited work of the four councils that comprise the Main Street Program that deal with design, organization, economic vitality and promotion.
He reported that the Design Council has developed a strong partnership with the city’s Historic District Council. By the end of the year, this group plans to have a draft ordinance dealing with the issue of news boxes in the Central Business District before the FBCC for consideration. This group is also analyzing and prioritizing design elements (bike racks, flowers, sidewalks and lights) for the downtown area. They are investigating and seeking grant funding for assistance with these projects.
The Organization Council is pursuing fundraising possibilities, including a startup grant, as well as developing a volunteer base.
The Economic Vitality Council remains involved with plans for 8th Street and is concerned over the redevelopment of the Fred’s property and the future of the heritage tree on that site. They are also strongly supporting increasing density in the Central Business Area to encourage more walking, less driving and more customers for downtown businesses. They remain optimistic about working with the city on collaboration over the CRA redevelopment along the Amelia River Front.
The Promotions Council is working directly with Shrimpfest and Dickens on Centre in planning for the next events. They are working on the city’s event process as well. They are working on branding, social media and a business brochure. They have developed a new logo for downtown as well: