The Mission of the Oil City Main Street Program is to make Oil City’s downtown business district aesthetically pleasing and economically viable, providing a foundation for the healthy growth and success of current and future businesses for the benefit of current and future residents. Our downtown will become a regional destination for visitors to enjoy the arts, recreation and entertainment by leveraging our rich heritage and natural resources.
The community came together in 2008 to begin plans to seek Main Street designation and funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Many downtown community meetings were held where business owners, community leaders, and those that care about the downtown could give input and feedbck on various downtown plans, ideas, and a Main Street five-year strategy for downtown Oil City.
After two years of careful planning the Oil City Main Street Steering Committee led a successful pledge campaign that netted the $125,000 in matching funds needed to submit the final draft of the Oil City Main Street five-year plan and be a candidate for designation and funding.
In March 2011 the majority of downtown Oil City was designated as a Main Street District, and granted an additional $250,000 in State funding over a five-year period to implement the five year Main Street strategy with guidance from the Pennsylvania Downtown Center.
The generosity of the community and the grant of state funds is helping to move our downtown forward. Since receiving the Main Street designation the Oil City Main Street Program has hired a full-time Main Street Manager to oversee the program and coordinate strategy initiatives and ongoing committee work as well as begun to successfully implement facade improvement grants, aesthetic initiatives , and downtown workshops for business owners.
Many more initatives are planned and currently being implemented. When a downtown is successful, the entire community benefits.
The City of Oil City was a driving force in the pursuit and planning of downtown Oil City’s Main Street designation. Former mayor Sonja Hawkins as well as City Council participated in all community meetings, and offered funding to help with the needed macthing funds requirement.
The City of Oil City was the formal Main Street designation requestor, and receives funds from the State towards the Oil City Main Street Program. These funds are then directed to the Oil Region Alliance of Business, Indistry & Tourism, who acts as the program’s fiscal agent and houses the Main Street Manager’s office.
Today Mayor Barb Crudo and City Council continue to support the Main Street initiatives and participate on the Steering Committee giving input into downtown projects and fundraising.
Additionally the City of Oil City’s Community Development Manager and City Manager are active on committees, and are partnering with the Main Street Program to create synergy for downtown Oil City’s future.
The Oil Region Alliance of Business Industry & Tourism is a strategic partner to the Oil City Main Street Program offering in-kind match for funding requirements.
The Oil Region Alliance acts as the program’s fiscal agent and houses the Main Street Manager’s office. The Oil Region Alliance also offers employee and administration support to the Main Street Manager.
Representatives from the Oil Region Alliance have helped to coordinate Main Street meetings, prepare key documents, and continue to participate on key committees offering input and support where needed.
The key partnership with the Oil Region Alliance provides a focused and coordinated effort to revitalize downtown Oil City and build prosperity across the Oil Region.
The Main Street Manager’s office is located at:
217 Elm Street
Oil City, PA 16301
Kathy Bailey, the Main Street Manager, can be reached at (814) 677-3152, ext. 101 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A considerable matching contribution from the Elizabeth S. Black and Edith C. Justus, PNC Trustees was given to the Oil City Main Street Program. The generous contributions from such trusts help develop downtown into a thriving and dynamic business community, and support the Oil City Main Street mission.
Its this exceptional philanthropy in our community that makes Oil City a special place, and helps the Oil City Main Street vision come to life as the program continues to fulfill the many action items of the five-year strategy for downtown Oil City.