Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
August 2006
Governor Doyle Names Lake Mills a 'Main Street' Community

Program Will Assist Lake Mills as it Revitalizes its Historic Downtown

Commerce Main Street Director Jim Engle (on left) joins Secretary Mary P. Burke (far right) at the ceremony to announce the city's designation as an official Main Street Community. Also pictured: Main Street Manager Lisa Maurer, City Manager Steve Wilke and Main Street Committee Co-Chair Tom Boyks.
Commerce Main Street Director Jim Engle (on left) joins Secretary Mary P. Burke (far right) at the ceremony to announce the city's designation as an official Main Street Community. Also pictured: Main Street Manager Lisa Maurer, City Manager Steve Wilke and Main Street Committee Co-Chair Tom Boyks.

Lake Mills' residents turn out for the celebration.
Lake Mills' residents turn out for the celebration.

LAKE MILLS -Governor Jim Doyle recently announced that Lake Mills, Jefferson County, has been selected for the Main Street Program, which provides technical assistance to local downtown revitalization efforts. Commerce Secretary Mary P. Burke made the announcement during a visit to Lake Mills this afternoon.

"The Main Street program is a powerful tool for communities," Governor Doyle said. "The assistance Lake Mills will receive being a part of this program will help reinvigorate its downtown - creating a better place to live, work, and do business."

Lake Mills, a community of 4,766, has a distinctive, cohesive downtown area with exceptional historic building stock - over half of the buildings were constructed before 1920. The community is near the beautiful, spring-fed, 1,200-acre Rock Lake and offers tremendous recreational opportunities for the area. The L.D. Fargo Library on the square was built in 1899 and is on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

"Through the Main Street program, we'll work to make sure that downtown Lake Mills is no longer just a place for community members to visit occasionally - but instead is at the center of community life," Governor Doyle said.

The community's goals are as follows:

  • Develop stronger retail, service and residential mix
  • Create a cohesive downtown streetscape program
  • Strengthen downtown as a community gathering place for events
  • Develop historic preservation strategies
  • Promote tourism by marketing Lake Mills as a destination.

The Wisconsin Main Street Program in the Department of Commerce provides technical assistance to local downtown redevelopment initiatives using a four-point approach: design, organization, economic restructuring, and promotion.

Since the program's inception in 1988, Wisconsin's Main Street communities have attracted 2,875 new businesses, 14,094 jobs, and $675.7 million in new investment to their downtowns.

Main street communities include Algoma, Beloit, Blanchardville, Chippewa Falls, Columbus, Darlington, De Pere, Eagle River, Fond du Lac, Gillett, On Broadway (Green Bay), Lincoln Village (Milwaukee), Marshfield, Monroe, Mishicot, Osceola, Pewaukee, Platteville, Portage, Prairie du Chien, Rice Lake, Richland Center, Ripon, Sharon, Sheboygan Falls, Stevens Point, Sturgeon Bay, Tigerton, Two Rivers, Viroqua, Watertown, Wausau, West Allis, West Bend, and Whitewater.

For more information about the Wisconsin Main Street Program, contact Jim Engle, Department of Commerce, at 608-267-0766.

-- Tony Hozeny

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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