Residents share village visions

Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Nov 16, 2011 - 03:49 PM

Photo: Bette Dillehay, left, chair of the Mathews Main Street Committee, talks with consultant Sam Tuttle of Community Planning Partners, Inc., after a brainstorming session on the revitalization of downtown Mathews Monday night. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Bette Dillehay, left, chair of the Mathews Main Street Committee, talks with consultant Sam Tuttle of Community Planning Partners, Inc., after a brainstorming session on the revitalization of downtown Mathews Monday night. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Two consultants had a brainstorming session with Mathews residents on the future of Main Street Monday at Mathews Memorial Library.

The consultants, Craig Wilson and Sam Tuttle of Community Planning Partners, Inc., of Richmond, have been retained by the county to complete an application for a $700,000 Community Development Block Grant that would help fund a business district revitalization project for the court house area. Their services are being paid for with funds from a previous CDBG awarded for that purpose.

Wilson said he is the "big picture" person who works with marketing projects, while Tuttle works on such physical aspects as façade improvements.

Using a meeting format that has become familiar to Mathews residents after many years of planning for the future of Main Street, Wilson asked residents to provide him with information and opinions on a range of subjects related to downtown Mathews. He wanted to know such things as the key events that have made Mathews Court House what it is today, what stories people tell about Mathews Court House, what its assets and challenges are, and what people envision for the future of downtown Mathews.

Those present discussed such annual events as Mathews Market Days, the Tour de Chesapeake, the Open Studio Tour, and the Community Yard Sale, as well as more frequent events such as the Farmers’ Market, Mathews Film Society screenings, and regular programs at the library, the Bay School, and the Mathews Art Gallery. They also pointed out that there is regular entertainment at local restaurants, and that many people visit Mathews to kayak, bike, or just spend a weekend.