James Rada Jr.
(7/3) With the resignation of Thurmont Main
Street Manager Vickie Grinder last month, town
businesspeople want to build on the momentum
Grinder created for the program and bring in
more businesses and volunteers.
“All the businesses in town do better when
the downtown prospers,” said Thurmont Chief
Administrative Officer Bill Blakeslee, who is
currently serving as the interim Main Street
He told a group of about two dozen
businesspeople and citizens on June 30, “We’re
going to keep prospering and growing.”
Thurmont first became a Main Street
Maryland Community in 2005. However, one thing
that Thurmont has lacked since the beginning
is an elected board of directors who would
oversee the work of Thurmont.
Blakeslee is planning to hold the election
for a board of directors at the next meeting
of the town’s economic development committee
on Aug. 20.
“I think that’s one way we’re going to get
a little more activity going,” Blakeslee said.
As for finding a replacement for Grinder,
the town has already started receiving resumes
and will continue to solicit them until July
18. The Main Street Manager’s position will
change slightly, though, as it becomes more of
a facilitator rather than someone who handles
most of the work. That will fall to volunteers
Main Street will continue to sponsor
Furmont Day, Christmas in Thurmont, Gallery
Stroll and the Thurmont Business Expo.
Coordinators for each of those events are
Thurmont Main Street will also start
sponsoring ribbon-cutting events for new
businesses in town. The group used to do this,
but stopped for unknown reasons.
“It’s one thing most of the businesses in
town appreciate,” said John Kinnaird, one of
the business owners in attendance.
A new event Thurmont Main Street will
sponsor this year is a 5K run from downtown
out to the Hillside Turkey Farm.
“For every job we can create in Thurmont,
it’s one less person who has to drive down the
road,” Blakeslee said. It also allows that
person more time to be able to participate in
town events, which enhances the quality of
life in town.