TOOELE — The city has gotten serious about revitalizing its "struggling" downtown.
It's now part of the Utah Main Street program, which is a partnership between the state's Division of Business and Economic Development, city government, business and property owners and community organizations. The Utah Pioneer Communities Advisory Board will help Tooele as it seeks resources, such as matching funds, from the program.
Mayor Charlie Roberts remembers talking about fixing up downtown back when he worked for the local paper in 1977. "It was an issue then," he said.
It has become more of an issue in recent years as commercial development continues to take off on the city's north side, leaving the downtown area with vacant storefronts and blight.
There have been revitalization "highs and lows" throughout the decades, but now the city has a Main Street manager who will work closely with the state and local contacts.
Tooele joins eight other Utah cities in the Main Street program, including American Fork, Helper, Logan, Mt. Pleasant, Payson, Richfield and Roosevelt.