By LINDA LOBECK
IRON MOUNTAIN - The Iron Mountain Main Street office is still open, but along with the Downtown Development Authority, it is without a manager.
Jonathan Ringel has filled those duties during the past four years, but this week, he has taken a new position as the director of the Dickinson County YMCA.
Until a new manager/director can be found, Ringel is staying on working 5-8 hours a week to help during the transition period, said Iron Mountain City Manager Jordan Stanchina.
"The DDA is currently discussing how to fill the position and is putting an ad together to find a replacement," Stanchina added.
Iron Mountain received its designation as a Michigan Main Street program in 2006, and during the past year reached the status of master level community. Iron Mountain is one of two U.P. cities with Main Street programs - the other is the city of Calumet.
As with any change, Stanchina noted that the position of Main Street/DDA manager may not be staffed as it was when Ringel held the position.
"But the DDA is interested in having a DDA director/Main Street manager," he said.
Funding for the Main Street/DDA manager has come from both the city and the DDA. The DDA has been involved in fund-raising with its members to complete the benefits package for the position.
The Main Street Program in Michigan focuses on a grassroots effort and the cities receiving this designation are eligible for many different state services. The four point approach of the program includes volunteers and committees involved in design, economic restructuring, promotion and organization.
Gong hand-in-hand with the Main Street concept, the manager's position has also been involved in working with the downtown businesses to promote different events, from Girls Night Out, Out to Lunch, Italian Fest, movie nights, Christmas Walk, Oktoberfest and Farmers' markets in both the summer and winter.
During the past year, the Main Street program and its volunteers were involved with getting the downtown area placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This designation helps provide tax credits for property owners in the district that want to make improvements on their historic buildings.
Linda Lobeck's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.