Archer City Applying For Main Street Program

Archer City officials are getting ready to stamp their approval on the town's application to Texas Main Street. It's a program that could help the city get a makeover.  But Archer City isn't the first Texoma town to apply for the program.  Bowie and Electra have both been part of the program since the 90's.  We also reported last month that Vernon was in the beginning stages of applying to Main Street, but Archer City is at the end of the long process -- something officials have been working on for three years.

When City Council Member Bill Miller went to Decatur in 2007, he noticed some exciting new renovations in the downtown area.

"I asked a merchant, 'Hey, how did ya'll do this?' and they just said, 'Main Street.'  'What's that?'" he said.

He looked into the state program and found out what it has to offer -- assistance in historical preservation, economic development, and city promotion -- all for free.

"What it does, it elevates pride in the community, it injects enthusiasm.  Your volunteerism goes up," he said.

Miller says if Archer City's application is accepted, it will be a focal point of economic activity, providing a quasi-chamber of commerce -- something the town has never had.

"When somebody has a good idea, they'll be able to go to this center focal point and from there, that person can start getting organized," he said.

One idea city officials have is to incorporate some of the town's crown jewels into a package deal, like the Royal Theater and the Larry McMurtry bookstore.  Archer City would first use the state consultation to spruce up the main square around the courthouse block, but Miller hopes it will extend to facilitate ideas from all over town.

"We have some all the way from bare bones to some that have already been developed and just need promotion outside our local community," he said.

The final step in the process is getting official approval from the City Council at tomorrow's meeting, and sending the application off to Austin this week.

"It is the final letter where the City Council says, 'You bet!  We're goin' through with this!'" Miller said.

The city already has a building picked out as the potential location for a Main Street office.  Miller also mentioned ideas for summer clubs at the theater, and other activities that will help unite the community.

The Main Street Program is part of the Texas Historical Commission and has been around since 1981.  Archer City will find out if its application is accepted in October.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6.