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Van Buren Works to Revitalize Main Street

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 6:36 PM EDT
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VAN BUREN, Maine (WAGM) -

The Town of Van Buren has begun revitalizing its Main Street. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has the story.

They say a town’s Main Street is the heart of the community, and if that’s true, it’s citizens are the backbone. The town of Van Buren recently began to spruce up its downtown area. The sign just outside of town, highlighting the town’s varsity sports championships has been completely redone by a local resident. The ornate light poles that line the street have been given a new coat of paint.

Peter Madore, Town Councilor for Van Buren, volunteered his time to build a deck for the long standing, but little used, Farmers Market in town, the local hardware store sold the lumber at a reduced price to the town.

“Van Buren has struggled so, the council has kind of a new attitude, we’re trying different avenues to better the main street a little at a time.” says Madore

The Gayety Theatre, an iconic building in downtown Van Buren, was one of those buildings that had fallen into disrepair. Two brothers, whose father owned the building in 1962 have made it their mission to bring new life to the Theatre.

“Its not going to be a 650 seat theatre, with a dance hall upstairs, and a small restaurant and a drugstore in the front. What we are looking at doing is a very respectful renovation, a renovation that is respectful of the history.”, says Dayton Grandmaison – Friends of Gayety Theatre

The town, is in the process of demolishing several buildings, which have become a safety concern along main street. Using a 100,000 dollar Community Development Block Grant they plan replace the slum and blight, with a pocket park for the community to use and enjoy.

“We feel we’re moving in the right direction. The border is closed and that’s not helping us, but I think things are just going to get better from here”, says Madore

Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8

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