Residents hear from officials during Community Coffee

Evart interim city manager Sarah Dvoracek (center) speaks during Thursday’s Community Coffee session at Sixth and Main. The monthly sessions provide residents a chance to learn more about city operations and share their concerns with city officials. (Pioneer photo/Brandon Fountain)

EVART — A formatting change to the upcoming 26th Summer Concert Series in Evart has drawn the ire of some residents.

Moving away from Saturday night concerts throughout the summer at the depot, Bryan Tiedt, Downtown Development Authority/Main Street director, told more than a dozen residents Thursday afternoon at the Community Coffee session at Sixth and Main the focus of the DDA who sponsors the concerts, is to draw people downtown to visit the businesses.

Past concert series didn’t accomplished that.

“They were not actually bringing anyone downtown,” he said. “The businesses downtown were closed.”

Concerts this year will take place during the farmers markets, which the DDA also coordinates and during the annual Art Festival and annual Fall Festival.

“People have told me they are not happy with the change,” Tiedt shared. “The new format will allow people to go to the farmers markets, and I am encouraging businesses downtown to take advantage — to have special sales for those specific days.

“Other cities have done things like this and it has worked.”

Tiedt said the challenge for him is to refocus the DDA on the downtown businesses.

“Everyone loves free concerts, but it wasn’t making any money and the businesses weren’t benefiting,” he said.

For the last five months, the Community Coffee session each month, hosted by interim city manager Sarah Dvoracek, have allowed residents to share their concerns about the city, as well as bring up questions about city operations or ordinances.

Members of the Evart Area Chamber of Commerce also attended the session, and much like the DDA, noted members of the organization are refocusing the chamber to its members.

In doing so, the annual flea market at the airport will not take place this year, due to it not generating revenue for the chamber and the cost for insurance has continued to rise.

Chamber officials are also looking for corporate sponsors for the popular events it hosts, from the annual fireworks display and the egg drop for Easter. If those events do not begin generating funds for the chamber to assist members, residents heard changes in future events will be considered.

Residents also are encouraged to attend chamber of DDA meetings, or volunteer for any events they may sponsor.

City officials also updated residents on the depot, noting city council meetings, which take place at 7 p.m. on the first and third Monday of every month, will return beginning next month.

Historic preservation officials also will be in town to discuss making the depot a certified local government historical district, as well as what work need to be completed for that to happen.

Residents also shared concerns about city streets and public works, such as pot holes and street sweeping, as well about the importing of trash into the city by non-residents and brush clean up.

Evart Department of Public Works Supervisor Mark Wilson said there are many challenges when it comes to trying to complete everything the department must do.

“We are doing everything we can do with the number of staff we have and the equipment we have,” he said. “If something happens and needs immediate attention, we have to take people away from what they were going to do that day to complete whatever job is necessary.”

For future Community Coffee sessions, visit the evart.org or the City of Evart Facebook page.

avatar

Posted by Brandon Fountain

Leave a Reply