Suzanne Kipfer, Joleen Jones, Mayor Bill Pugh and Jill Starks sitting on Main Street in a parklet with masks on.

From Mayor Bill Pugh:

Sumner is very lucky. We still have a classic Main Street, and better yet, it’s a very active Main Street. And, bucking the trend for 2020, great things are happening on Main.

The former Sumner Downtown Promotion Association changed its name to the Sumner Main Street Association, a better reflection of all this organization does. Following the national model, they focus on economic vitality, design and organization as well as promotion. A new website and logo completes the transformation.

And, the State agreed. Sumner’s organization was recognized this year as an official State Main Street association. Again, this well earned designation reflects the hard work gone into the health of the organization and also means more access to funding.

All of this doesn’t just happen. It’s due to the hard work of a lot of dedicated people. Jill Starks (shows in picture far right) recently joined us as the executive director of Sumner Main Street. She joins founder and current Board president Suzanne Kipfer (far left) and incoming Board president Joleen Jones (center) to keep the organization growing and succeeding. Thank you to all the volunteers and board members for SMSA. There are also a lot of sponsors and individuals who support them, and there’s room on that list for more. Take a look.

If you look at their sponsor page, you’ll see our name on there. Our 2021-2022 Budget includes direct support and membership at $35,000, which includes funding to run the Rhubarb Days event. (We’re thinking optimistically here.) The City also contributes through further support with programs like Open in Sumner, support of downtown events like Street of Treats, street banners, hanging baskets, the new sound system, and other ways totaling $27,750 each year. We also just paid to add the lights from the proceeds of lodging tax for $30,000 and are working with UWT students for a full, comprehensive design of Main Street.

You’re a part of this as well. Despite a year of difficult situations and loss of events, our Main Street organization is growing and stabilizing. Stores are moving in, and buildings are being renovated. This only happens if you keep eating, shopping and supporting your local businesses on Main Street. You can even become a member of SMSA. Thank you for doing your part. Sumner will always change with times, but with any luck, we’ll always have that classic Main Street full of life at the heart of our community.

Categories: Around Town