Kent City Council approves Main Street Program, budget plan

Ben Plassard

Several council members took issue with this.

Council members Ed Bargerstock, John Kuhar and Beth Oswitch each agreed that the city’s budget problems could not support Gilbert’s new position and new salary, but ultimately the council said the program was worth it.

Gilbert assured the council that fundraising programs are now in place, with the committee raising $3,700 Wednesday morning alone. They are about to enter a two-week fundraising phase with the goal of raising $50,000 to $60,000 during that period and after.

“We have lots of fundraising ideas,” Gilbert said. “We would like to have the support of the university and downtown businesses.”

School of Art director Christine Havice reassured both the council and the community of some of the positives of the program.

“We want to make Kent city a place where people want to come linger and students do clothing and grocery shopping,” Havice said. “There is a largely untapped economic potential of students and their families in Kent.”

Some of the potential businesses in downtown Kent might be an upscale supermarket, clothing stores and an art house movie theater.

The council will receive word if their application passed sometime in November.

Contact public affairs reporter Ben Plassard at [email protected].