ASHTABULA — Bridge Street is one of 10 finalists in the America’s Main Street Contest.
Ashtabula is the only city in Ohio to make the Top 10, according to the contest website.
Online voting for the contest, sponsored by the national small business movement, Independent We Stand, ended Sunday.
The winner will be announced at 10 a.m. Monday, with a “Main Streets Make Us Better” celebration July 4, when the winner will announce how the $25,000 in prize money will be spent, according to the website.
“We are very excited,” said Melinda McNutt, who serves on the Lift Bridge Community Association board. “We received a lot of support from the community.”
City Manager Jim Timonere said it was a grassroots effort and he’s thankful to supporters for rallying around the city.
“It goes to show you what those positive about our great city can do to bring attention to all the good things we have going on,” he said.
“Between this and being named as a top community for 2017 in Site Selection Magazine, it shows the progress we are making and the willingness of businesses to invest in our community despite what the social media critics say.”
The other nine finalists are Belleville, Illinois; Benicia, California; Collierville, Tennesse; Downtown Great Falls, Montana; Jeffersonville, Indiana; Rochester, Michigan; Fresno, California; Hillsboro, Texas; and Covington, Georgia.
McNutt enrolled Bridge Street in the online contest last year after hearing about it at Cleveland State University. She is hopeful Ashtabula will win the top prize of $25,000 this year.
“We had a lot of fun competing last year” when Bridge Street placed in the top five despite a late entry into the event, she said.
If Bridge Street wins the $25,000 grand prize, it will help complete several beautification projects already in the works, including an anchor project and signage, said Christine Seuffert, Lift Bridge Community Association president.