North Bend City Council Approves Funding to Support the Downtown Foundation’s Work in Economic Development

In 2021, at the recommendation of Mayor McFarland, the North Bend City Council reserved $250,000 of the City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation with the intended use as seed money in support of the North Bend Downtown Foundation (NBDF) and their work to achieve Main Street Community accreditation.

Over the past year, the NBDF worked with staff to develop the appropriate scope and contract. At the May 16 meeting, City Council unanimously approved a motion authorizing a contract with the NBDF.

The foundation will receive these funds over three years, and the funding will be used primarily to hire an executive director to guide all foundation work in following their mission of supporting and strengthening downtown businesses, managing community events, beautification, and delivering high-level communication support between the city and the local businesses.

Mayor McFarland expressed support for the foundation’s plans. “I am very excited about this finally launching,” said the mayor. “This is putting the power in the community, in the business owners’ hands, with the seed money and a plan for how to continue that moving forward. I think it’s fantastic.”

Next steps include hiring an executive director, said Board President Beth Burrows. In her presentation to City Council, she shared the foundation’s plans for North Bend to attain the Main Street Community designation. The Washington State Main Street program is an approach to city revitalization by celebrating a community’s unique heritage and attributes.

Main Street Community designation provides clear and proven guidance to success, with more access to grants and other assistance that will help the foundation be self-sustaining as they grow. The NBDF hopes to make North Bend  Washington State’s 39th Main Street Community.

“I love our town,” said Ms. Burrows. “I’ve lived here for 34 years, and I think that’s a common thread that binds all of us on the board, all of us on the City Council. We all want to see our town succeed. I believe a strong partnership between the city and the [foundation] will really ensure that success.”

Learn more about the NBDF by visiting www.northbenddowntown.org. View Agenda Bill 23-064 by referring to pages 91 to 110 of the May 16 City Council Packet HERE. Watch Ms. Burrow’s presentation by visiting the Media Center at www.northbendwa.gov.

Economic Development Manager Mark Noll’s introduction and Ms. Burrow’s presentation begin approximately one hour and 19 minutes into the video recording.

[Information provided by the City of North Bend]

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