By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — The effort to re-establish the village’s visitors center received a boost Tuesday, as the Medina Business Association approved funding for a facelift at the center’s new site.
The MBA will contribute upwards of $200 towards painting of the City Hall building, where the visitors center is moving after previously being housed at the former Chamber of Commerce office on Main Street.
MBA President Cindy Robinson said the Village DPW will paint the entranceway and foyer of the building this spring. The visitors center has typically been open on weekdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with volunteers manning an information desk.
Robinson said the presence of a site dedicated to promoting the village and its activities helps the MBA’s business members.
“Visitors may come to the village for one thing, but if they can see what we have we can keep them longer,” Robinson said, “and hopefully shop here longer.”
In addition to the painting, the City Hall entrance will also receive a new glow. The Orleans Renaissance Group is donating old schoolhouse-style lights taken from the under-construction Bent’s Hall; and furniture is being brought over from the old site.
The new site will not be ADA accessible, but Robinson said that the visitors center’s presence will aid a village push for grant funding to increase accessibility to the building, which also houses the headquarters of the village’s public works, zoning, fire and police departments.
The visitors center will continue to be run by the Medina Tourism Committee, and will include maps, fliers and information about businesses and events. Tourism Committee Chairman Jim Hancok said guides for self-directed walking tours and souvenirs are planned additions this year.
“It’s always nice to have a place to go where people can be welcomed to the village,” Hancock said.
Hancock said the committee’s intent is to have the center manned from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and hopefully for regular hours on Saturdays. That effort will require more volunteers. Hancock said anyone interested in helping out should call him at 798-2118.
• The MBA’s members reviewed and selected a pair of designs for downtown bike racks made by students in the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center’s Welding Program.
Proposals for an arched rack with a center icon and an rack shaped in the outline of a red delicious apple will be brought before the Medina Planning Board for approval on March 5.
A pair of racks will be located in the downtown business district, with the possibility for more in future years.
“Medina is becoming more of a bicycle town,” said Tom Snyder, who along with Greg Stanton has pursued adding bike racks, canal towpath signage and other bike-friendly additions.
Stanton, who spoke with students about the idea, said he was encouraged by their reaction. More than a dozen ideas for signs were produced.
“The kids seemed really excited, it’s nice to see,” Stanton said.
• Tickets for the 2013 Ale in Autumn event will go on sale in June. Robinson said the MBA intends to stick to 750 tickets for the beer tasting and business networking event. The same number of tickets sold out earlier this month for the Wine About Winter event, which was held Feb. 2.
Robinson said making sure businesses don’t get overwhelmed will be the priority in determining if more tickets can be sold of the fundraiser.
“I don’t want to get past our comfort zone,” Robinson said.
• County of Orleans Economic Development Agency Vice President of Business Development Gabrielle Barone told business owners that they deserve a share of the credit for keeping Claims Recovery Financial Services in Orleans County. The Albion-based business intends to move more than 700 jobs to the village if expected grant funding is approved.
“Having an active Main Street helped (attract CRFS),” Barone said. “It’s a compliment to all that you do.”
• This month’s Business After Hours will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Reigle’s Market on Main, 513 Main St. The Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event is free and open to the public.
• The annual Easter Bunny/Golden Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt will be held at Rotary Park from 10 a.m. to noon on March 23.Contact reporter Jim Krencik at 798-1400, ext. 6327.