Group wants to beef up business downtown

By ALEX ZANK - Daily News

July 10, 2015

Patrons walk on Main Street near a business for rent Thursday in West Bend. Business Improvement District Board members discussed ways to market vacant downtown buildings Thursday.  
John Ehlke/Daily News 

WEST BEND - With direction from the Business Improvement District Board to fast-track economic development and marketing efforts for downtown West Bend, BID Strategic Planning Committee members laid out ideas for a website Thursday morning to promote the area.

Committee members met at Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds to discuss what they wanted to be included in the website and gameplan the next steps.

“My vision of this website is to promote the BID as a whole and not just events,” said Mike Husar, BID Board president.

City Administrator and Director of Development T.J. Justice said since West Bend recently revamped its website he would reach out to the city’s information technology manager. He said he would bring a recommendation in a few weeks. The city’s revamped website came in at a cost of $15,000.

The committee also hammered out what it would like included in a reconstruction project of North Main Street. Members want to minimize the presence of the bump-outs, replace the conduit underground, replace sidewalks and possibly add historical signage, among other things.

Committee members began meeting in May. At the first meeting, members drafted a list of long-term projects they would like to see.

This list included reconstructing Main Street; opening the north end; opening the riverfront; area parking; installing bike racks, information kiosks, holiday decorations and attractions; and revitalizing Old Settlers Park.

The BID Board met as a whole Tuesday at City Hall and requested the committee consider adding trees and dumpsters to the list of ideas.

At Thursday’s meeting, strategic planning committee members agreed to find cost estimates on Main Street reconstruction, opening up the north end, parking and bike racks.

Reach reporter Alex Zank at .