The MRC is a small but active organization. One of the reasons we’ve been able to achieve as as much as we have is because we focus our efforts on making others successful. Rather than assuming control, our approach is to educate and provide support until the project or program can operate on its own. We will know that we’ve succeeded in reaching our goals when we are no longer needed and Montrose is once again the attractive, vibrant, economically strong hub of activity it once was.
The Farmer’s Market
MRC started and operated the Farmer’s Market on the Green in 1999. In 2003, agreements were made to allow the farmers to run the operation themselves and they proved to everyone that they could do it superbly. MRC’s direct contributions were minimal during that transition year. The market operated every Friday from May 23rd through the end of October. No weekly fees were charged, and vendors from a wider geographical area were encouraged to participate. The farmer’s focus was solely on marketing their products throughout the growing season, and they made more money than ever before. As of December 31st, 2003 they were officially “spun off” from the MRC organization as their own independent cooperative. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Endless Mountains Heritage Region for all of their assistance in making the Farmer’s market on the Green a success.
Since its donation in 2001, MRC has been offering an avenue for regional artists to perform while providing the general public the opportunity to experience the arts and be entertained through performances otherwise unavailable in our rural setting.
Downtown Revitalization Facade Improvements
Armed with a can-do attitude, some paint, and lots of volunteers, we returned 15 storefronts to their original beauty. Our efforts and enthusiasm so impressed the PA Downtown Center in Harrisburg that they created a s special Affiliate status of their Main Street program to benefit towns such as ours that are too small to otherwise qualify for state funding. IN July 2002, Montrose became the first Main Street Affiliate in Pennsylvania.
This status meant we received matching funds from the State that we could give to building owners who wanted to improve their facades. Our design committee gives free design assistance, including help with color schemes, signage, and guidelines for restoring and maintaining period architecture. Those who meet design recommendation were eligible to receive up to 50% of the cost of labor and materials, to a maximum of $2500 per building.