After tumultuous months, Brooksville's Main Street gets a grant

It's still unclear where the bulk of the program's funding will come from, but a Hernando County Tourist Development Council grant offers a little advertising help.
Published July 15

BROOKSVILLE — The Brooksville Vision Foundation's Main Street program has had a tumultuous couple of months. In May, the first director of the Brooksville Main Street Program — which tries to promote the city — left his job. Last month, the Vision Foundation hired former Brooksville mayor Natalie Kahler to replace him.

Meanwhile, the city and Hernando County have finished their three-year commitments to funding the program, and with the county facing a budget shortfall, it's unclear whether more money will come from either source.

But the program got a financial injection — and a vote of confidence — on July 11, when the county Tourist Development Council voted to give the program a grant of nearly $2,800. The Vision Foundation's Sonny Vergara, who filled in for Kahler at the meeting, said the money would support print, radio and online advertising efforts. County tourism manager Tammy Heon noted that the council's fiscal year ends in September and that it will give out new annual grants shortly after, meaning this grant is meant to give Main Street a push through the summer months.

"I think it's incumbent on us to help them in any way we can," Heon said.

County Commissioner John Mitten, a member of the council, referenced the county government's general lack of money in discussion on other funding sources for Main Street. City council member Joe Bernardini, also on the tourism council, said some on the city council are skeptical of Main Street, but that it's possible the city could continue to help fund it.

Contact Jack Evans at jevans@tampabay.com. Follow @JackHEvans.

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